Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

Cinnamon Roll Batter:
2/3 c white sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 egg (at room temp)
1/2 c. half and half
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cheesecake filling:
2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese (at room temp)
2/3 c sugar
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP flour
3 eggs (at room temp)

Cinnamon Filling:
1/3 c butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 oz chream cheese (at room temp)
3 TBLS unsalted butter (at room temp)
2 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar
(1 TBSP lemon juice, optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 9 inch Springform pan. (or large Corningware baking pan)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a mixer cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg, half and half and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.
Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients. Mix on low speed until throughly combined.

Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It may be a thin layer, but trust me, it will rise up during baking.

Using a mixer (and a clean bowl) beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 mins on medium high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.
Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake.

Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of the cheesecake. Once finished, take a knife to swirl the ingredients together. This is hard to do as the batter is pretty thick, just do what you can.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let cool for 20 mins at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours (or so).

Make frosting. Using a mixer (and a clean bowl) beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, beat to desired consistency. (add lemon juice, if desired).

Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin Recipe

Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin Recipe

For the topping:

2 cups Crunchy Gluten-Free Breadcrumbz or Cornbread Crumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh or dried Italian Herbs or basil/oregano/marjoram, to taste

For the veggies:

3 medium zucchini, sliced in long pieces, 1/4 inch thick
5 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful of halved artichoke hearts
4 tablespoons prepared Favorite Basil Pesto or Cilantro Pesto Recipe
2-3 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pinch sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (garlic marinated mozzarella rocks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a gratin dish or large pie plate.

Place the toasted crumbs in a bowl and using a fork, toss with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to coat; season with Italian Seasoning or dried basil/oregano/marjoram.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini, garlic and artichokes, and sauté briskly just until the zucchini is a bit golden and still tender-crisp. Remove from heat and pour the veggies into a bowl to cool slightly.

When cooled, gently toss the zucchini mixture with the prepared basil pesto, to coat. Layer the pesto veggies in the gratin dish or pie plate.

Spread a scant third of the crumbs on the squash mixture. Layer with slices of mozzarella. Top with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the tomatoes.

Bake the gratin until it is bubbly and hot, about 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a side dish or on top of a bed of hot brown rice penne tossed with basil pesto.

Serves 4.


Our Favorite Basil Pesto Recipe

3 cups washed, fresh basil leaves, stems removed, patted dry
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled- according to taste
10 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional- omit for vegan
Pinch of sea salt, if desired

Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and pulse it on and off until it becomes a smooth paste. Taste test for seasoning and texture adjustments.

Use immediately, or cover and chill.
If it becomes stiff add some extra virgin olive oil and stir till smooth.

Pesto will darken if exposed to high heat and will lose its vibrant green color, so don't "cook" pesto in a hot pan or add it to hot pasta in a hot pot; rather, transfer the cooked pasta into a bowl first- then add the pesto and stir gently.