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The Candyland Incident

I am competitive when I play board games. Just ask my family. When my kids were younger, it took all of my parenting ability to not crush my young sons in every game we played. Finding that balance between building their confidence and teaching them how to be a gracious loser was as tough for me as it was for them.

I have been accused, but do not freely admit, that while not cheating, will use misdirection to change the focus off of me and attempt to place it on another player. I know nothing…nothing I tell you!

This competitiveness came early in life. One of my earliest memories that I still hold was one day on the street that I spent my 3-6 year old years. It was a great street that had little traffic and plenty of kids my age. My best friend at the time, Keith, lived next door and a couple of cute sisters lived down the street.

One day, the sisters had Keith and I over and we were playing CandyLand. For those who have never played, it is a board game where you draw a card and move your piece to the next color square matching the color on the card. Eventually you make your way around the board and the first to get to the end wins. I was playing and I was in the zone. I was dominating CandyLand. If I kept it up, they would start calling me the CandyMan! The sisters were dully impressed and I could tell that Keith was not happy at my newly found rock star status.

I drew a card that turned out to be my last. It would have put me at the end of the road, winner, champion of the game.I reached out to move my piece, smile broad across my face. It was then that Keith took action. He grabbed the board and flipped it into the air.

I was astounded. How could he do this? I was about to win. I was going to be lauded for my immense skill for all time and he just flips the board?!?!? Animal instinct took over and before I realized it, I landed a right hook to Keith’s mouth. I can still see it now as in slow motion. My fist hits his mouth and one of his teeth, goes flying to the ground. Keith grabs his mouth, starts crying and runs out of the room and on home.

Knowing the moment was ruined and there would be no basking in glory this day, I returned home as well. I arrived home and went into my room. It was then that the doorbell rang. My mom answered and called me to the door. There was Keith’s mom (my mom’s good friend) with the little board upsetter hiding behind her legs. It became clear that my only course of action, despite board flips or not, was to apologize. I did, reluctantly. The tooth, as it turns out, was a loose baby tooth that was working itself out. I tell you this cautionary tale in case you every deign to upset a board if we every play a game together.

Hybrid Cheesecake

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This cheesecake was made for one of our Gourmet Club dinners where the theme was blue and I had the assignment for dessert.  It is the “hybrid” cheesecake because it was a mix of two different cheesecake recipes.

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There is a lot here.

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To aid in the blue theme, I pulverized some blue corn chips.

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And mixed them in with an equal amount of graham cracker crumbs.

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This, with some melted butter, made the crust.

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The blueberries and cheese.

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In the mixer.

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Making the toping.

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Some of the blueberry syrup.

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With just a little mix to create a swirl.

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Separating the crust after baking.

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Making the blueberry toping.

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Mixing with some fresh blueberries.

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Ready to take to the dinner.

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Doesn’t that look good?

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Still looking fine.

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Finally! On the plate!

Hybrid Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:
8 sheets graham crackers or 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
blue corn chips pulverized in a food processor to make 1 cup
4 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp lemon juice
12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 pkg.)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup white chocolate chips (vanilla chips)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Topping:
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2  pint baskets blueberries
2/3 cup blueberry jam

Directions:

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. 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/blue, about 12 minutes. Cool.

For Filling:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1 Tbsp sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Stir in cold water, blueberries and 2 tsp lemon juice. Cook over medium heat whisking often until mixture begins to boil lightly. Boil 30 seconds whisking constantly. Remove from heat and force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl (to remove blueberry skins), set mixture aside.

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg and egg white. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Set mixture aside. Combine white chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave mixture on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add melted chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth.

Pour 2/3 cup cheesecake mixture into the crust and spread evenly over bottom. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp blueberry sauce. Slowly ladle remaining cheesecake mixture over the drizzled blueberry sauce, covering all of the blueberry sauce. Carefully giggle the pan to even out the top. Drizzle 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp blueberry sauce over top (reserve remaining blueberry sauce in refrigerator). Take a knife and swirl it through the cheesecake to marble blueberry sauce.

Bake cheesecake in center of the oven for 40 minutes, then turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool then refrigerate cheesecake for 6 hours, until set.

For topping (once cheesecake has cooled and set):
Beat cream and sugar in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spread cream mixture thickly over top of cheesecake.

Place berries in bowl. Heat jam and/or reserved berry juice from above in small saucepan over low heat until just melted. Pour jam over berries; toss to coat. Mound coated berries in center of cream, leaving 1-inch plain border. Chill cake at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

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Categories: Baking3, Cheese3, Chocolate, Dessert 2, Fruit 2, Gourmet Club, kosher, Recipes, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

2 Comments on “The Candyland Incident”

  1. May 23, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    That is a great story about CandyLand – I also loved that game. Your dessert also looks awesome!!

    Like

  2. May 24, 2015 at 4:47 am #

    I remember playing CandyLand with my siblings (I’m the oldest of 8) and we always had so much fun. Your story made me laugh… and the cheesecake looks fabulous, I’m sure it was a hit!

    Like

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