With delightful decorations and fabulous flavor, this bright bloom is sure to become a perennial favorite! Plus it's easier to prepare than you might think. After baking a creamy white chocolate cheesecake, our crafty kitchen staff mixed pink and white candy coating. Then they brushed onto edible leaves and let harden, creating petal shapes. To finish, our cooks tinted additional candy coating yellow for the flower's center and arrange the pieces on top of the dessert. You could easily do the same—just follow the directions here!
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 16 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 9 ounces white candy coating, divided
- 8 ounces pink candy coating disks
- Yellow gel food coloring
- Lemon or rose leaves that have not been treated with chemicals
- Small pastry brush or new paint brush
- In a food processor, combine the cracker crumbs, oats and sugar. Cover and process until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and process until combined. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the melted white chocolate just until combined.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set.
- In a bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over top of cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.
- BLOSSOM: Wash lemon or rose leaves and set aside to dry.
- Set aside 1 oz. of white candy coating for flower center. In a microwave melt remaining white candy coating and the pink disks. Stir until blended. Using a pastry brush or new paint brush, brush a thin even coat of the pink mixture onto the bottom side of each leaf. Place leaves with coated side up on a waxed paper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set.
- Coat leaves with a second pink layer the same as before. Chill until set. Gently peel leaves away from pink petals. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Melt reserved white candy coating. Stir in yellow food coloring until blended. Spread into a 3-1/2-in. circle on waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.
- ASSEMBLY: For flower center, remove yellow circle from waxed paper and place in a center of cheesecake.
- Referring to the photo at left for position, arrange petals around flower center, overlapping petals slightly and positioning larger ones at the outside.
- Place cheesecake on a cake plate. Yield: 12-14 servings.
Originally published as Blossom Cheesecake in Country Woman May/June 2004, p44
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