Cardamom Cheesecake with Rosewater Rhubarb

August 13, 2013

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***WARNING: THIS MAY BE THE MOST DELICIOUS CHEESECAKE YOU’VE EVER DEVOURED IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. NO JOKE.***

Well, I have a pretty good reason for having not posted a recipe in over 3 weeks… because I got a job! Yep, my one official year of “funemployment” is now over. FINALLY. The hunt, search, exhaustion and worry can take a break for awhile. I love where I am and am getting used to my new structure, and trying to fit in gathering ingredients at the grocery store, baking, styling, photographing, editing and posting is a bit of a challenge. Go figure. Oh, grown-up life. Get used to it.

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Anywho, I decided to come back with a bang with this fabulous cheesecake dessert from the always-inspiring Donna Hay. I have a major obsession and deep love for this woman and her recipes. I want to recreate every recipe of hers (as well as the jaw-dropping photography). The seasonal magazine is put together flawlessly with minimal ads, artistic food styling, colorful photos and unique dishes. My favorite issue that I always hunt down is the Fall/Autumn one. And I ended up finding this years edition just a few weeks ago while I was visiting home at Book Shop Santa Cruz!

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I was bookmarking recipes to make while I was flying home on the plane but couldn’t even get through the whole thing before I landed. I savor every page of it. There was one section full of cheesecakes: classic lemon, pear and cinnamon, chai-spiced tarts, you get the picture. Anyway, this Mediterranean/Indian-inspired cheesecake in particular stood out to me and I couldn’t wait to make it. Only problem was..how in the world was I going to get my hands on a 32.5cm x 7.5cm x 8cm rectangular baking tin? I Googled high and low, checked every page of Amazon and couldn’t find anything equivalent in inches to this unique loaf pan the recipe required. Well, as luck has it, Donna Hay has a store herself online where most of the bakeware she uses in her recipes are for sale. How awesome and convenient is that?! I went ahead and got a few other things while I was at it since shipping was the same. If you decide to do the same, may I suggest that you order one of her fall or winter issues while you’re at it. You won’t be sorry.

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It’s actually a pretty simple and easy recipe to make, all things considered. This was the first time I have ever worked with rhubarb before, it was very exciting! I love that unique color. Such a fantastic compliment to rosewater as well, especially with pistachios in the crust, cardamom and vanilla bean in the cheesecake part. I’m so happy I decided to go all out for this, even purchasing the pan from Australia because it’s just a wonderful work of art. Now I can’t wait to dream up some ideas on how I can utilize this pan more! Possibly a pumpkin cheesecake in the upcoming Fall time?

 

(***Note: Since the original recipe is in metric units, my conversions are rough estimates but everything turned out great regardless!***)

Serves 8-10

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Cardamom Cheesecake with Rosewater Rhubarb

From: Adapted from Donna Hay, Issue 68

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups shortbread biscuits, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup ground pistachios
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (I used half reg, half neufchatel)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 10 oz rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2.75″ lengths
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar, extra
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater

Directions:

  1. Place the biscuits and pistachios meal in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the butter and process to combine.
  2. Press into the base of a lightly greased 32.5cm x 7.5cm x 8cm rectangle loaf tin lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, vanilla bean, vanilla extract and cardamom in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the mixture over the base and tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and allow to cool in oven with the door closed. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rhubarb, sugar and rosewater in a bowl and mix to combine. Place in a deep-sided baking tray, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until softened. Set aside to cool.
  5. Top the cheesecake with the rhubarb and drizzle with the syrup to serve.
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