Sugar High Fridays really raised the bar this month. Rather than picking an ingredient to work with, the host for this month, Susan from the Well-Seasoned Cook, picked an adjective: sparkling. The theme this time is “All that Glitters”, and the submitted desserts (see them here next Friday, 11/28) should look as dazzling as they taste!
Now, this has rarely ever happened, but I am actually getting to one of my saved recipes in a timely manner. I stumbled upon this absolutely beautiful creation on Esi’s blog, and I simply had to make it. What’s more, she made two mini-cheesecakes, rather than one big one, so I could modify the topping to RJ’s taste – plain or with caramel, thank you very much. As soon as I read the SHF topic for the month, my mind immediately went to this recipe which was at the top of my recipe pile. What food product, naturally produced, sparkles more than the garnet colored, translucent arils of the pomegranate? The answer is a sweet and shimmering pomegranate glaze dotted with them! My final product looked like a christmas ornament – a treat which would certainly entice Santa to unload some gifts on Christmas eve.
Enjoy this dessert, as I did so thoroughly this week, and don’t forget to peruse the numerous and undoubtedly creative results of the other participating bloggers on the Round-up page.
(Adapted from ‘Pom Wonderful’ by Esi from Dishing Up Delights)
Makes one 9-inch cake (or two 4.5-inch cakes)
For the Crust:
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. butter, melted
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, well softened (this is important!)
5 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
For the glaze:
6 Tbs. pomegranate juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
To make the crust, stir together crumbs, sugar and butter until moistened. Press evenly into bottom of two 4.5 inch spring form pans or one 9 inch baking dish.
To make the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla and salt just until blended. Pour over crust in pan; spread evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 to 25 minutes more, until cake is firm at sides and soft-set (jiggles slightly) in the center. Do not over-bake. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for up to 2 hours, then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving. (Refrigerate cake for up to 1 week.)
To make the topping, combine juice with sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Cool slightly; mix in pomegranate arils, then spread glaze over cake.