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Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Best Cheesecake Recipe

All of my family members LOVE cheesecake!  Actually, who doesn't?  This indulgent treat can be intimidating to attempt.  I have the solution for that, courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis.  Her blend of marscarpone cheese, lemon and vanilla flavors paired with an almond graham cracker crust, is a winner every time.  

As always, I like to get a little creative and tweak the recipe just a bit.  Giada doesn't call for it, but I add one or two teaspoons of lemon zest into the cheesecake batter.  It just adds a little something to the overall flavor.  Also, this time, instead of vanilla extract, I used this vanilla bean paste.
It really added something special as well.  There were little bits of vanilla bean visible in the cheesecake.  It just felt fancy, you know?  I think we found this at T..J. Maxx, but I'm sure it's on Amazon or at Fresh Market too.

You'll see in Giada's recipe, that she does this amazing Nutella topping.  I love it.  But this time, I wanted to try something different.  I had a sudden inspiration to blend cherries with balsamic vinegar.  Sounds weird, right?  It was tasty!  Here's how I did it...

Balsamic Cherry Reduction

1 cup Frozen Cherries
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1.  Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2.  Stir frequently as the mixture comes to a boil.
3.  Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
4.  (Optional) Use your whisk to slightly chop the cherries.
5.  Pour into a gravy boat or small bowl and allow to cool before drizzling over the cheesecake.

...and here is my masterpiece!...Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Cherry Reduction

Something else I would highly recommend is a little cheesecake-making party!  Strap your babies on, give your older kids some Legos and get busy.  I hope I've inspired you to try this wonderful recipe.  So grab a friend and your springform pan and get ready to impress your people!