Hello! Yes, it's been a while. Wedding planning, house hunting, Christmas break, and life in general just kind of got in the way of me and my kitchen. But this valentine's day definitely called for something a little special. My fiance and I celebrated on Saturday instead of Tuesday, since we wouldn't have eaten till midnight if I had to come home and cook after work. This way, I was able to take the whole day to JUST PREP AND COOK. It was so relaxing and wonderful!
Here was the table setting...
My housemate's china and silver flatware which she very generously lent to us...
Dried flowers that he got me from last year cause I'm sentimental like that
I think the whole meal was a bit too awesome to fit into one post; each thing I made kind of deserves it's own space. So, let's start with the dessert, since even the Bible says that the last shall be first...
This beauty is a cappuccino rum cheesecake with strawberries and cream. I know the pictures aren't the best, but the last thing I wanted to do while this was just sitting in front of me was try over and over again to get a good picture in a poorly lighted kitchen. Pretty much to die for.
I got the original recipe from THIS site and followed it pretty much word for word. I didn't have espresso powder, so I just used two tablespoons of espresso. The coffee flavor wasn't very strong, so I'd recommend going with what the recipe calls for. I also sprinkled cocoa powder on the top for some added bitter contrast.
A couple important tips:
- Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature. If it's too cold, it won't blend easily and you might get lumps.
- Mix on low-medium speed. The more air you get into the cream, the more likely you are to get spaces and bubbles in the final product.
- Scrape the edges frequently to help get a good consistent batter.
- Mix thoroughly after and in between each addition (ie each egg, liquid, etc)
- Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the springform pan for easy cleanup and removal.
- Don't overcook it; it should still be jiggly in the center when you take it out; it will set when it cools.
- If you are trying to lose weight, eat one piece, save a second, and give the rest of the cheesecake away; that's the only reason I didn't eat the whole thing.