Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

For today I will post something a little more cutesy. I don't normally make desserts, as I have a complete inability to follow a recipe. Plus I am a little more salty than sweet kind of girl. However, I found this cute idea for making conversation heart cheesecakes on another blog, which you can see here. Her blog has beautiful pictures and tips and step by step instructions, if you are so inclined to actually follow a recipe. 

I thought about it for a while and did not want to just use food coloring. I always prefer to add color with food and flavor if possible. I started looking for raspberry cheesecake recipes that used raspberry puree to turn the cake pink. What I found instead was a green tea cheesecake, which you can see here.

Ok so that was the idea and this is what really ended up happening in my kitchen (because, again, I cannot follow a recipe).

Conversation Hearts Cheesecakes
makes 6 (or more) small heart cheesecakes

One and a half 8 ounce packages light cream cheese, at or near room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon macha green tea powder
6 frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
pink or red food coloring (for writing)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. While this is happening put the frozen strawberries and blueberries in two different microwave safe bowls and defrost (or you can just get them out of the freezer and defrost them when you are bringing cream cheese to room temperature). Puree these individually in food processor. To remove skins and seeds I smash my puree through a mesh strainer with a spatula (shown in picture). Make sure to scrape puree off the back side of the strainer because most of it will still be stuck to it rather than in the bowl underneath. I then split my batter into approximate thirds with the strawberries in one, blueberries in one and green tea in one and stir. I found that the green tea one needed to be processed again to get really smooth. I used a handheld immersion blender for this. The blueberry one could have used some more processing as well.

Then put in heart molds. I had some leftover batter but not enough to fill another heart with any one color. I placed mine in a roaster with water bath as shown in Hungry Happenings blog, which worked well. They took 26 minutes in the oven for a toothpick to come out clean. I let them come to room temperature. Then I froze them for a couple hours so they would come out of the molds easily. I used a thin tipped paint brush and pink food dye to write the letters. 

They are not as vibrant or pretty as the ones made with food color, but I think I will be happier with the taste. The painting also seemed to bleed less if I painted ones that were more thawed. Also, I am sure you have noticed they do not have a crust. I did not have any type of cookies to make a crust with because I have a 3-year-old cookie monster in my house. I have not eaten them yet, except when I tasted the batter, which was good. I will let you know how they taste tomorrow.

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