Yield: 12 servings
|1 tablespoon||Butter or margarine, softened|
|2 tablespoons||Graham-cracker crumbs|
|5 \N||8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature|
|5 \N||Large eggs|
|3 tablespoons||Pesticide-free violet petals|
|2 teaspoons||Vanilla extract|
|\N \N||Boiling water|
|\N \N||Cardboard or cardboard cake round|
|\N \N||Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)|
|\N \N||Candied Violets (opt.)|
|\N \N||Violet leaves (opt.)|
1. Using the butter, coat the inside bot- tom and 2 inches up the sides of a 10-C mold or 10-inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle mold with graham-cracker crumbs, shaking mold to evenly coat the inside completely. Turn mold upside down to remove excess crumbs.
2. Heat oven to 325'F. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until softened and fluffy. Beat in sugar until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With rubber spatula, fold in violet petals and vanilla until well mixed. Pour mixture into prepared mold.
3. Set filled mold in a 13- by 9-inch bak- ing pan and place on the lower oven rack. Pour boiling water into pan to a depth of about 1 inch.
4. Bake cheesecake 1½ hours or until almost set in the center. If using Bundt pan, bake 1 ¼ hours. Turn off oven; let cake stand in oven 30 minutes longer. Remove cheesecake from the water bath and cool in the mold to room temperature on wire rack.
5. Cut a piece of cardboard into a round to fit exactly over the cheesecake. Loosen the cake around the side of mold. Unmold cake onto the cardboard round and place on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan.
6. Prepare Chocolate Glaze. Pour half of glaze over top of cheesecake, and with small metal spatula, carefully spread to evenly cover side, allowing excess to drip into pan below. Refrigerate cake just until glaze hardens.
7. Meanwhile, keep remaining glaze at room temperature. If glaze hardens, re-heat in hot water just until spoonable. Pour and evenly spread remaining glaze over cake. Refrigerate cheesecake at least 2 hours or overnight.
8. Just before serving, transfer cheese- cake to serving plate.
Garnish top with Candied Violets and decorate plate with violet leaves, if desired. To serve, cut cheesecake with a knife dipped into warm water and dried. Store any leftover cheesecake covered in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Glaze: In double boiler over hot, not boiling, water or in a small saucepan set into a skillet with ½ inch of hot water, melt 3 T unsalted butter with 1 8-oz package semi- sweet chocolate squares, chopped, or 2 4-oz bars bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces. Stir until smooth and cool to lukewarm.
Country Living/May/93 Scanned & fixed by DP & GG