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Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Candied Kumquats

I must admit I'm a bit overdosed on baking with dark chocolate so this week I am trying a white chocolate cheesecake. The recipe is from Diana's Desserts.

I'm getting as much done tonight as possible as I won't be home until about 8-ish tomorrow and am determined to finish my cheesecake for Tuesday.

Getting it together is plain sailing - a crust with melted butter and crushed animal crackers and lots of cream cheese and white chocolate. Now it just needs to sit in the fridge until tomorrow evening. I have also made some candied kumquats as a garnish, which will go on top of whipped cream. I think this will add a bit of tartness to an otherwise very sweet cheesecake - as much as I am a white chocolate fan, it can be overly sweet at times.

Here's the recipe (tweaked):

Cheesecake Filling: 3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Solid Ivory, coarsely chopped (any other good quality white chocolate may be substituted for the Godiva brand)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Place white chocolate, butter and cream in a double boiler top and let it sit over boiled water. The steam should be enough to melt the chocoate. The water does not need to simmer. Stir until smooth and let cool.

2. Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl until smooth, using electric mixer at medium speed. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and cooled solid chocolate mixture, using low speed. Pour mixture over crust.

3. Wrap base of cheesecake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on baking tray. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until top is slightly puffed and center is just firm. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 more hour and prop oven door open. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

Here is the recipe for the kumquats, from Ruth Reicl's The Gourmet Cookbook, which I found while surfing around. The recipe is in half quantities of the original.

Candied Kumquats
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teasp. salt
1 cup kumquats, sliced into three's and with pips removed

Boil water, sugar and salt; stir until sugar has dissolved.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
Add sliced kumquats and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes until tender.
With slotted spoon, transfer kumquats to heatproof bowl.
Boil syrup 7-10 minutes on low until reduced to 3/8 cup. Pour syrup over kumquats and cool.