Team Tablespoon was super excited to find Beth's amazing creations on her blog, Hungryhappenings.com. So, as you can imagine, we are geeked out to have her as a guest blogger. Check out these awesome noms that she made just for us!
Valentine's Day comes during a gloomy and gray month, so why not brighten it up a bit by making and serving these rainbow cheesecake hearts.
Each individual sized serving of rich creamy cheesecake has six colorful layers. You don't even have to dig your spoon into a cake to see all the wonderful colors, they show up beautifully around the sides of each heart.
This Rainbow Heart-Shaped Cheesecake
recipe is really fun to create, but takes a bit of patience and requires some heart shaped silicone molds or any shape mold you'd like to use. Just like any cheesecake you'll start with a graham cracker crust which is topped with individual layers of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red cheesecake. Once baked, chilled and un-molded, these cakes can be served not only for Valentine's Day, but also for wedding or baby showers, birthday parties, or even tonight's dessert.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
First, the crust. Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter, stirring until it looks like sand. (I used my food processor to grind the graham crackers, then I added the cinnamon and butter and pulsed it until well combined.) Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of crumb mixture into 9 heart cavities in your molds. Press the crumbs down making an even crust. Bake crusts for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Let's make the cheesecake filling. Combine cream cheese, sugar, heavy whipping cream, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until smooth. If you prefer, you can mix it by hand. First mix the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended. Add whipping cream, eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Note: You don't want a lot of air in this mixture, so I don't recommend using a hand mixer.
Evenly divide cheesecake filling into six bowls, about a half a cup in each. Color one bowl with yellow food coloring then the others with orange, red, green, blue and purple. Start with one drop of coloring, then add more until you achieve the desired color. To get orange, use red and yellow, for purple, use red and blue. Equally divide the purple cheesecake filling among the 9 heart cavities, spooning about a tablespoon of the filling into each of the nine heart cavities. Spread it out in a thin layer making sure it touches the sides of the mold completely. Wipe off any batter that smeared on the sides of the mold. Repeat this process with the blue, spreading it in an even layer over the purple. You will need to repeat this process layering all the colors in the mold. If you prefer, you can pipe the colors into the molds. I tried this technique, and have to say I preferred just spooning it in, as my piping skills aren't great. I made more mess this way, but you may have better luck. Top the blue with green, then yellow, then orange.
Spread the final layer of red cheesecake in the mold and smooth it out.
To achieve the creamiest cheesecakes with the smoothest top surface, you will want to bake them in a water bath. It is not mandatory with this recipe, but highly recommended. To do so, set your heart molds in a roasting or baking pan. Set the pan in the oven, then carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan, being careful not to splash on the cheesecakes, until the water comes halfway up the sides of the heart mold.
Bake your cheesecakes for 20-24 minutes until the top forms a smooth film and the center is still giggly, but not wet.
Allow your cheesecakes to cool for an hour then refrigerate for at least 3 hours then freeze for two hours. Your cheesecakes will be much easier to remove from the mold if frozen.
Carefully turn the silicone mold upside down and set it over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Gently tug at the mold pulling it away from the cheesecake, allowing the cheesecake to fall out. Immediately turn the cakes right side up. Your frozen cheesecakes will probably have beads of condensation on them. You can simply pat them dry with a paper towel.
While the cheesecakes are frozen and are easy to move, set them on a serving platter or individual dessert plates. Keep refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving. They will have a creamier texture if allowed to sit at room temperature for a while before eating. You can see all the layers nicely on the sides of the cakes. Rainbow-licious!