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chocolate orange cheesecake

Thursday, February 19, 2015

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
“The definition of a fairy-story – what it is, or what it should be – does not, then, depend on any definition of historical account of elf or fairy, but upon the nature of Faerie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the air that blows in that country. I will not attempt to define that, nor to describe it directly. It cannot be done. Faerie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not imperceptible. It has many ingredients, but analysis will not necessarily discover the secret of the whole.

For the moment I will say only this: a ‘fairy-story’ is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy. Faerie itself may perhaps most nearly be translated by Magic – but it is a magic of a peculiar mood and power, at the furthest pole from the vulgar devices of the laborious, scientific, magician. There is one proviso: if there is any satire present in the tale, one thing must not be made fun of, the magic itself. That must in the story be taken seriously, neither laughed at nor explained away.” – J.R.R Tolken, On Fairy-Stories
chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
I’ve spent a lot of time lately rereading fairy tales and stories, and books about authors who wrote fairy tales and stories, contemplating why they resonate with me so much, and determining their purpose in my life. I’m at the place where I’m ‘feeling all the feelings’ but don’t quite have sentences to articulate my thoughts. I find this happens a lot; the emotion comes far before the words, and I spend days and months trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Fairy-stories were so important to me as a child, and when I’m stressed or overwhelmed they are the books I immediately climb back into. The easy answer here is that they are just places to escape. I’m curious, however, about Tolkien’s reflections on Magic, and must admit I believe in it on some level. But, that’s all I’ve got so far. I’ll keep reading and thinking during these long, cold, winter nights.

Of course this has nothing to do with Aimée Wimbush-bourque‘s beautiful new book, or the cheesecake recipe found on its pages, unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own. Are there, in fact, writers who jot measurements and short stories on paper, passing instructions from hand to hand, weaving tales throughout each generation? Does food have a history, contain ancient elements that have been preserved? Is joy, curiosity, enchantment, and even escape at times invoked? Maybe the act of cooking and eating is just primal instinct, nothing more than necessity. I’m not convinced.

“And actually fairy-stories deal largely, or (the better ones) mainly, with simple or fundamental things, untouched by Fantasy, but these simplicities are made all the more luminous by their setting. For the story-maker who allows himself to be ‘free with’ Nature can be her lover not her slave. It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of the things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine.”

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
Chocolate-Orange Cheesecake
Adapted from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-bourque

Aimée’s new cookbook, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, is quite lovely. I changed a couple things from the original recipe. Her cheesecake is a citrus cheesecake, and I made this one just with orange juice. I also added a chocolate glaze to the top. This cheesecake is delicious! The light orange flavor and chocolate pair well together.

crust
1 1/4 cups | 300 mL graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons | 30 mL sugar
1/4  cup | 60 mL unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a spatula until combined. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool (leave the oven on).

filling
24 ounces | 750 g cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup | 175 mL sugar
1/3 cup | 75 mL sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
zest and juice of 2 oranges, scrubbed
5 large eggs, at room temperature

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat again until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla, orange zest and juice, and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition (but not too vigorously). Pour the filling over the cooled crust.

Bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake has puffed significantly and the middle is still slightly jiggly (or until the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees). Move to a wire rack and let cool completely (the cake will sink a bit).

Cover the top of the cheesecake with parchment paper (just resting over the rim of the pan) and put in the fridge overnight, or for a least 8 hours.

glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and then add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the vanilla and stir until the glaze is smooth. Cool to room temperature. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the springform pan and spread the glaze over the top. Let the top set before slicing.

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

 

 

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Hummingbird High
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Gorgeous, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Ohhhhh this flavour!! Such a gorgeous recipe! And definitely great for any occasion.

  • Reply
    Iris - Writer/Photographer
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    YUM.

    The Starving Inspired

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I definitely agree that fairy tales are a magical form of escapism – a momentary allowance to dream separate from the confines of reality. This chocolate orange cheesecake looks divine Sarah too!

  • Reply
    Thea @ Baking Magique
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I love fairy stories and fairy tales! And this cheesecake looks amazing and I’m usually not a fan of cheesecakes 🙂

  • Reply
    Allison from Baking: a Love Story
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    This looks ridiculous. I mean, RIDICULOUS. Love this post and the photos. Need that book!

  • Reply
    dani | theloveofvanilla
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Reading about magic is what got me really loving books when I was young. Before that I was always so scared of the size of the writing and how many pages the book had but when I started reading about magic I couldn’t put the books down. It lets you escape into another world 🙂

    Oh and this cheesecake looks very decadent and just yum! I will be reminiscing in the stories I use to read and dreaming of eating cheesecake all day today 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Melissa@Julia's Bookbag
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Oh Miss Sarah. I basically stuck my nose into various fairy tale books at age 5 and never took it out again. Have you ever read any of the Andrew Lang color fairy books? I have pretty much the ENTIRE collection! My daughter is not as into fairy tales as I am ~ but I still buy a beautiful fairy tale book if I see one. They speak to my heart. As does your writing and your photos and your blog.

  • Reply
    The Prestigious School
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I haven’t had the courage to try a baking a cheesecake since I had an epic fail with my grandmother-in-law’s recipe. Maybe this will give me the reason to try again.

  • Reply
    Abby
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    This is just the loveliest post, Sarah. I adore your photos (I always do!!) and your writing is so beautiful. Aimée’s book looks incredible, too. <3 xx

  • Reply
    jaime : the briny
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    oh, sarah! i love this so much.

    “unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own. Are there, in fact, writers who jot measurements and short stories on paper, passing instructions from hand to hand, weaving tales throughout each generation? Does food have a history, contain ancient elements that have been preserved? Is joy, curiosity, enchantment, and even escape at times invoked?”

    why, yes, yes i do.

    and this: ““And actually fairy-stories deal largely, or (the better ones) mainly, with simple or fundamental things, untouched by Fantasy, but these simplicities are made all the more luminous by their setting. For the story-maker who allows himself to be ‘free with’ Nature can be her lover not her slave. It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of the things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine.”

    the magic in the mundane! i am so enchanted with this concept. it’s been a theme of what i’m sharing on my blog lately, too. thanks for posting these tolkien quotes. i am so on board with his (and your!) ideas about magic — i think us recognizing magic in mundane things like food and nature makes them all the more real; the colors of every day become more crisp and vibrant and alive.

    i can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see these things outside of my own mind.

  • Reply
    kristie {birch and wild}
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Chocolate and orange-my crack! I can’t wait to make this 🙂

  • Reply
    Jane
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    wow. this sounds and looks so good!

  • Reply
    sabine
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 12:53 am

    You have a good point: Escape is what fairy tales, books in general maybe, and the act of cooking or baking have in common. At least for me. It´s easier to believe everything will be alright when the kitchen is steaming and there´s something delicious and comforting on my plate. And I mean that in the most joyful way!
    How can I get back to the cake now? It´s pretty gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Millie l Add A Little
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 2:08 am

    SO beautiful and the combination of flavours is just wonderful!

  • Reply
    Nicola (Eat Dig Love)
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:16 am

    All I can say in YUM!!!

  • Reply
    Nicola (Eat Dig Love)
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:16 am

    All I can say is ‘Yum, yum, yum!!’

  • Reply
    Kate
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 7:29 am

    ‘unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own’
    Yes! This is a beautiful post Sarah and I love how you’ve added that chocolate layer. I’m a chocolate-orange girl so 110% approve.

  • Reply
    Happy Friday! | Gardenias & Mint
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:10 am

    […] thing that could make you any sweeter would be the this featured orange-chocolate cheesecake by The Vanilla Bean Blog. The idea of curling up with this with and a cafe au lait by the window and a blanket sounds […]

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    What a magical post. Made me smile as I was reading. Lovely cheese cake to pair
    with the musing and the sharing of your childhood.

  • Reply
    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is
    Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 7:08 am

    […] chocolate orange cheesecake. so much […]

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    June Burns
    Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Such a great cheesecake flavor! Chocolate + orange is a wonderful combo 🙂

  • Reply
    WEEKLY SUNDRIES -
    Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 8:36 am

    […] cheese desserts, I don’t make too many cheesecakes these days. Then I stumbled upon this chocolate orange cheesecake from one of my favorite sites, The Vanilla Bean Blog. She paired the recipe with some Tolkien […]

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    Weekend links: Brown Eggs and Jam Jars edition | Simple Bites
    Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    […] Sara of The Vanilla Bean Blog adapted my Citrus Cheesecake to Chocolate Orange Cheesecake […]

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Cheesecake, in each and every form, is my weakness. Loving that orange filling and chocolate glaze.

  • Reply
    Kari
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I love that chocolate top layer. It adds a great color and texture to the cheesecake!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • Reply
    Vrijdagmiddag Inspiratieboost - INTERIOR JUNKIE
    Friday, February 27, 2015 at 6:00 am

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  • Reply
    nidhi@pepprgarlickitchen
    Friday, February 27, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I love that cake..absolutely love and what beautiful pictures!

  • Reply
    Jessica Robinson
    Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Wonderful flavors for a delectable cake

  • Reply
    Nicolas - Sugar'n'Salé
    Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    hi,

    I am a French culinary blogger ( so excuse my English a little awkward ) and I came to see What did our friends across the Atlantic .

    I am delighted by your blog , beautiful pictures and beautiful recipes.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    pánské brýle
    Saturday, January 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    simple but yet so tasty.

  • Reply
    m
    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:58 am

    hi! i live in spain and there’s no graham crackers, so i will try to find a cookie to substitute. but more importantly, there’s no sour cream here…do you think it will work if i use full fat yogurt or should i try with something else? thanks for your guidance. i really want to make it this week for my husband´s bday.

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