Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chef Sasha's New York Cheesecake with Rose Petal Syrup

This is what happens when you don't plan ahead!

When we were shooting this season of Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, I took very few pictures, especially of the food. So tonight, following the airing of our episode with Skylar, as I'm getting emails for my New York Cheesecake with Rose Petal Syrup recipe, I have no photos to accompany the post.

Go with me, I'm improvising here: These are photos of me getting my hair and makeup done; the closest I ever get to feeling like a cheesecake pin up. Kind of punny, but I'm workin' with what I've got, ya'll.

Next time I'll be more on it, promise. In the meantime, here's my recipe for New York-style cheesecake, which I will proudly tout as the best you'll ever eat, and rose petal syrup which I came up with years ago when working on recipes for Welcome Books' "Little Big Book of Roses."

It may seem odd, but the floral sweetness is surprisingly delicious and sensual.

New York Cheesecake with Rose Petal Syrup
Makes 8-12 servings

New York Cheesecake:
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

32 oz cream cheese
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ pint sour cream
½ pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour

1 cup sour cream
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Rose Petal Syrup:
2 cups highly scented edible, organic rose petals, thoroughly washed, with buds snipped from bitter white base
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Rose Water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, boil together rose petals, sugar, rose water and lemon juice until a thick pink syrup forms, about 10 minutes. Chill until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large bowl, add all graham cracker crust ingredients together and press into the bottom and one inch up the sides of a springform pan. Chill at least 15 minutes while making cheesecake filling.

Beat all filling ingredients together and pour over graham cracker crust.

Bake cheesecake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Leaving oven door closed the entire time, turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 additional hour.

Remove from oven and chill thoroughly.

Before serving, beat together sour cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Smooth over top of cheesecake. Cut into slices and garnish each with rose petal syrup.

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