Deborah's Birthday

Recipes for FEDBytes

1. Jack's Dark and Stormies

Do the times seem a bit... dark and stormy? Jack recommends this cocktail that will remind you of tropical places and lift your spirits.

 

Get the recipe here 

2. Kevin's Ceviche Compote Cheesecake

Deborah specifically requested Kevin's specialty cheesecake for her birthday. If you're looking for an escape from these times... this cheesecake is out of this world! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

 

Cheesecake:

3 8oz packs cream cheese, softened (room temp)

3/4 cup sugar

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

3 eggs

¾ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 drops vanilla

 

Crust:

1 ½ cups vanilla wafers, pulverized

1 stick salted butter

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp lime zest

 

Ceviche Compote:

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup lime juice

1 cup water

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp lavender syrup (optional)

1 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom

2 cups Berries

  • These can be any berry, so long as it smashes/crushes easily. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, diced oranges & grapefruit work well, diced peaches and pears can work also. Avoid harder fruits like apples or melon.

 

Cooking

Cheesecake:

            Preheat the oven to 375. Add 1 inch of water to a cookie sheet (or other pan that fits the springform pan inside it) and set aside.

Grease a 9” springform pan. Crush cookies and place in a large bowl. Melt the stick of butter over low heat (so that it clarifies rather than browns) and mix well with cookie crumbles until they are damp all over. Mix in the lemon and lime zest. Pour into the springform pan and press with fingers or the bottom of a glass to flatten. Keep in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, rather than pushing up the sides. Place the pan in the freezer until called for (no more than 5-6 minutes).

            Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing well. Add eggs one-by-one, completely mixing each one in before adding the next one. Mix in confectioner’s sugar. Mix in yogurt. Drop vanilla into batter and mix well, until smooth. Pour into springform pan and smooth the top if necessary. Wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil (I usually use two layers) so that it is sealed all the way up all the way around. Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven, and place the springform pan on top of it, in the water.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the batter wiggles only in the center of the pan when bumped. Once complete, turn the oven off, leaving the cake inside to cool with the oven for 45 minutes. Open the oven door to quicken the process at 35 minutes in, leaving for another 10 minutes. Once you can lift the cake out of the oven without oven mitts, pull it out and leave on a counter to set; this usually takes about 45 minutes, or until its around room temperature. Cover with more aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

 

Compote:

            Combine all berries/diced fruit in a large bowl and mix well, slightly crushing all pieces. There should be a little juice in the bottom of the bowl. Add a little extra sugar if desired & set aside.

Combine all spices and add to a spice bag or tea bag and seal. Add lemon and lime juice to the water and pour in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the sugar and allow to dissolve completely. Add lavender syrup if desired. Drop in the spice bag, turn heat down to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off and allow to stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

            Uncover, remove spice bag, and whisk vigorously for 25-30 seconds, allowing some froth bubbles to form & steam to escape. Pour over the fruit in the bowl and mix so that everything is covered in the ceviche liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Mix again around the 3-hour mark if possible.

 

Serving:

            Mix fruit ceviche vigorously to further crush the fruit and allow the acids of the ceviche liquid to seep in. Top cheesecake slices with a generous scoop of compote & a mint leaf (if desired), and enjoy!

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