Golden: Rose-scented Cheesecake on a Coconut Base with Berry Compote

So we embarked on a gluten free cheesecake baking adventure last Thursday and it was very well received. Too bad our gluten free guest couldn’t make it. I guess that means we have an excuse to make it again though, at least!

I was very happy to read in the beginning of the cheesecake section that all the cheesecakes in Golden could be easily adapted to gluten free. I love a baked cheesecake more than just about anything so I have high expectations and rarely do cheesecakes live up to them. This was certainly an exception.

Aaron and I divvied up the tasks for the cheesecake preparation: I made the base and the compote while he conquered the cheesecake filling. The compote is basically some frozen raspberries cooked in a saucepan with sugar and a lemon that’s been cut in half until it boils and thickens. Then you pull the lemons out and over a mesh sieve juice the lemons into the mixture. It is so much easier to get all the juice out of a hot lemon. What a cool trick! Then it has a bit of rosewater and some fresh raspberries and strawberries stirred through before being refrigerated until ready to serve.

The base is pretty much a coconut macaroon – and what a clever way to make a cheesecake base gluten free! It’s simply coconut, butter, sugar, salt and egg that has been mixed together, pressed into the lined baking tin and baked until lightly golden – this took me about 20 minutes, while the recipe said 10.

Aaron tackled the filling which had all the usual cheesecake suspects – cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, flour which he used cornflour for – and then the flavorings added were rosewater and lemon zest. We poured this over the cooked base and baked it in the oven for 35 minutes.

I was so skeptical of this cooking time. I’ve never cooked a cheesecake so quickly or at such a high temperature. But, it turned out perfect! No cracks in the top and it was set yet creamy. Hallelujah!

The only weird thing about the cheesecake is this little concave side we have happening. I have no idea why that would occur?! It made the presentation not as beautiful as it could’ve been, but it’s hard to complain when it tasted so dang good!

Thanks Honey and Co – I now have to try all of Golden‘s cheesecake recipes!

Golden: Vegan Ginger & Date Loaf Cake

Food52 Baking Club is going through Honey and Co’s book Golden this month and I just couldn’t help but be intrigued by their loaf cakes. I adapted the vegan was as the book suggests with their ginger and date loaf cake fillings to make this hybrid beauty.

The cake is a mixture of date syrup, water and canola oil that has been brought to a boil and then stirred through a dry ingredient mixture of flour, sugar, bicarb, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. Lastly, you stir in some chopped dates and crystallized ginger before baking it in a greased loaf tin for 30 minutes. When you pull it out of the oven, you simply brush on more date syrup and add some more chopped ginger to decorate.

I was surprised that the vegan cake recipe said 30 minutes in the oven, but when at 30 minutes I checked it and the top looked done and the skewer came out clear I promptly pulled it out, declaring the time had been right.

Or so I thought. I really should’ve gone with the date and ginger loaf time which was twice as long. While the cake was cooked on the outside, the middle is a bit raw still. Oops. Luckily it doesn’t contain raw eggs so it’s still edible, gooey and delicious. I’m such a ginger fanatic, I could eat the crystallized ginger straight out of the bag – maybe even to the point of eating the whole bag!

For my first recipe from this book,  I’m pretty happy and will definitely have a go at making this again with a longer oven time. Next up, I’ll be trying one of their divine looking cheesecakes. Mmm mmm….