Sweet Testing: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust (Gluten Free)

I was seriously considering not posting this recipe because the photos I took turned out to be a little too Country Living for my tastes, but, after much debate, I decided to bite the bullet and post it because

A) The cheesecake was mighty delicious and I’m not even a huge cheesecake fan.

B) There is a cool visible layer on the outside of the cheesecake, which I love!

C) I wanted to show everyone that I do, occasionally, make desserts that aren’t from Baked!

D) This recipe can easily be made gluten free and I know that everyone appreciates a good gluten-free dessert!

I am also excited to be sharing this recipe because it is, in fact, a really cinchy one. Although, I am not happy that I still, somehow, managed to make not one, but two mistakes while preparing it! It was fifty percent my fault and fifty percent the fault of a missing step in the original recipe, but still . . . two mistakes! Oy vey. It actually turned out to be super yummy despite my errors, and I am thus posting my slightly altered version of the recipe, instead of the original.

Oh, and please note, the pomegranate seeds have nothing to do with the recipe, but were part of delicious pomegranate/orange juice/champagne concoction that was served before dinner. You can find the complete recipe after the jump.


Ice Cream Roses

Is it just me or did everyone know that ice cream that has been molded in the shape of a rose is like . . . a thing?? I've heard of rose petals being used to flavor ice cream. I've even seen rose-shaped ice cream as a specialty item and served in a bowl, but never have I scene so much fanciness in a common ice cream cone! I searched and searched for more info on the history of this flowery treat, but couldn't really find anything, other than that it seems like rose-shaped ice cream is usually found in Europe and Asia, which is probably why I haven't seen it! Does anyone have any info on when/where/how this trend started?

Photos by Aseerat Galb, Stuart Eve, Julie Upmeyer


The Mixing Bowl: I Scream Sandwiches by Polli

Maja Rose and Tess Lloyd of the fantabulous jewelry company Polli have shared a recipe for ice cream sandwiches with us today that I’m totally gaga about! Not only is the ice cream beautiful to look at it, but it can easily be switched up with different fruits and flavors, depending on the season. You can even change it to match your favorite color! The Polli ladies selected dark chocolate, raspberry, and blackberry in honor of Polli staff member Sherri, who was celebrating her birthday. It was Sherri’s fondness for purple that inspired the lovely color theme! What a fantastic birthday treat! I hope you enjoy it!

Polli is an Australian-based company that is known for its unique and contemporary jewelry, homewares, and decorations. My sister first introduced me to their metal jewelry many years ago and I instantly fell in love with their fun and beautifully intricate designs. I’m currently obsessing over their fox earrings (how cute are those??) and the tandem pendant (such great details), but, really, their Web site is filled with so much eye candy that it’s nearly impossible to make a decision as to what I want to get next. I’m sure, after a quick browse, you’ll be hooked, too!

Click here to check out the Polli Web site. You can find the complete recipe for the I Scream Sandwiches and more photos after the jump. Thanks, Maja and Tess!


Edible Art: Volcano Flambe

I post a lot of things in the Edible Art series that, although they are, indeed, edible, you probably wouldn't want to actually eat them. Let's face it. Most of these art pieces are probably covered with all sorts of chemical sprays to keep them looking pretty and, really, they aren't meant to be consumed. That said, I feel fairly comfortable in saying that this is the first genuine Edible Art post that I've done because it's a dessert you can actually eat and order off the menu!

A collaboration between artist Marina Abramovic and Park Avenue Winter’s executive chef, Kevin Lasko, the Volcano Flambe turns the dessert course into a performance piece. This sweet concoction, which is sort of like a kicked up version of the classic Baked Alaska, consists of dark chocolate ice cream, meringue, and banana mousse that is covered with gold leaf and topped with spun sugar. Put all of this onto a  a cookie crumb base, add a little flame of rum, and, voila, you have a Volcano Flambe! Not only is it beautiful to look at, but before the dessert is placed in front of you, you are instructed to don a lab coat and put on a pair of head phones to enhance the experience. Through the headphones, you hear Marina Abramovic telling you to close your eyes and breathe, which is actually really great advice to give someone before they start eating. It probably allows you to enjoy your food more! If this all sounds good to you, head over to Park Avenue Winter in New York City, where, for $20 you can eat art. The Volcano Flambe will only be available until March 20th, but there will be more artist/chef collaborations at Park Avenue (enter season here) in the future.

Photos by Diane Bondareff, courtesy Park Avenue and Creative Time
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