Cheesecake

Sunday is my birthday, but my BIG birthday present is coming on Monday, which is the release day for my book.  “Holding Out for a Hero” is already posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, although you can’t actually download it and read it until Monday.

In the meantime, I am blogging on Sunday at http://crimsonromanceauthors.com/ so stop by and read my maiden post.

There is no cheesecake in the book, but there are some steamy scenes, which is better than photos of girls in various states of undress . . . at least from this side of the aisle.

Now to the Cheesecake Part of the Blog

Birthdays always remind me of my childhood. My mother would let the birthday boy or girl choose their birthday cake. Breaking from tradition, I chose cheesecake, which I’d never tasted, but heard about. As it turns out, my entire family had no idea what cheesecake tasted like either. Maybe we all inherited a clueless gene.

My mother, who was (a) born in Milwaukee and (b) an avid clipper of recipes from the newspaper, had just the thing. Hence was born the Milwaukee Cheesecake, a main ingredient of which was marshmallows. I’m serious.

I loved it, my brothers loved it, my sisters loved it, my parents loved it. Why had we waited so long to try cheesecake?

Years later, as a college freshman, I was offered a wedge of cheesecake. “Sure! I love cheesecake.” I shoveled a forkful into my mouth and gagged. Where was smooth gelatin? What happened to the cool sweet taste of cream cheese lite? Who stole the marshmallows?

“This isn’t cheesecake!” Alas, it was.

Over time, we all became aware of what the rest of the world already knew. So, my mother’s recipe for Milwaukee Cheesecake was thrown away in the name of authenticity, and we went on to discover that the orange stuff pictured on top of tacos wasn’t grated carrots, but cheese. (This was actually a welcome revelation.)

Still, Milwaukee Cheesecake was great cheesecake, and I have been searching for a recipe that mimicks it. A few years ago I found something similar and recreate it as gift to all those June birthday boys and girls out there since this makes a fantastic summer dessert.

Milwaukee Cheesecake with Blueberries

Crust:

9 whole graham crackers

2 tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

5 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Filling:

¼ cup water

1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin

12 oz.Philadelphiacream cheese, softened

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 cups fresh blueberries

For crust: Preheat over to 350 degrees. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until graham crackers are finely ground. Add butter and vanilla; process until moist crumbs form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch diameter springform pan. Bake crust until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes.

For filling: Pour ¼ cup water into small saucepan; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir over very low heat just until gelatin dissolves. Set aside. Blend cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in processor until smooth. Add berries; puree until smooth. With machine running, add warm gelatin mixture through feed tube and blend well. Pour filling into crust. Cover; chill overnight. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Transfer to platter.

Ah, heaven. Enjoy!

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