Friday, October 21, 2011


A quarter of a century. Two-Five. Mid-twenties. Five years from thirty. That is this guy.

He has quite possibly the most expressive face I have ever encountered.


Yes, the PizzAmerica (true name) box is completely empty.

But back to him and his birthday. I am a firm believer in the Birthday Week. I use it as an excuse to do nice and fun things on the days leading up to a birthday.

This Birthday Week included barbeque, hikes, a video game, and a trip to the Wake County Animal Shelter where we adopted this little black cat.

Meet Gustav.


This Birthday Week also included cheesecake. Banana cheesecake.


Let me set the scene: Vanilla wafer crust, brown sugar cheesecake batter, and ripe bananas.




There may have been some ganache involved. And there may still be some extra ganache in the refrigerator, just in case of an emergency or natural disaster.




All in all, a successful Birthday Week.

Banana Cheesecake
(makes 1 9" cake)
Stuff:
2 c crushed vanilla wafers
1 stick butter, melted
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs
3 large bananas, ripened & mashed
1 c sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 c cream
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:
** Prep crust first: Mix wafer crumbs and butter until they clump together; press into the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan and bake at 350 for ten minutes. Cool completely before filling
1. Mix cream cheese in bowl until smooth
2. Add sugars and mix until smooth
3. Add cornstarch, vanilla, sour cream, lime juice, and salt
4. Mix in eggs one at a time until just incorporated
5. Fold in bananas
6/ Pour into prepared crust
7. Set spring-form pan on a baking sheet and fill baking sheet with water (it will go up 1" on the sides of the spring-form)
8. Bake at 300 for 1 hour
9. Cool for 1 hour
10. Scald cream and pour over chocolate, let sit for five minutes then whisk until glossy
11. Pour ganache over cake and chill for at least 4 hours

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