chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
“The definition of a fairy-story – what it is, or what it should be – does not, then, depend on any definition of historical account of elf or fairy, but upon the nature of Faerie: the Perilous Realm itself, and the air that blows in that country. I will not attempt to define that, nor to describe it directly. It cannot be done. Faerie cannot be caught in a net of words; for it is one of its qualities to be indescribable, though not imperceptible. It has many ingredients, but analysis will not necessarily discover the secret of the whole.

For the moment I will say only this: a ‘fairy-story’ is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy. Faerie itself may perhaps most nearly be translated by Magic – but it is a magic of a peculiar mood and power, at the furthest pole from the vulgar devices of the laborious, scientific, magician. There is one proviso: if there is any satire present in the tale, one thing must not be made fun of, the magic itself. That must in the story be taken seriously, neither laughed at nor explained away.” – J.R.R Tolken, On Fairy-Stories
chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
I’ve spent a lot of time lately rereading fairy tales and stories, and books about authors who wrote fairy tales and stories, contemplating why they resonate with me so much, and determining their purpose in my life. I’m at the place where I’m ‘feeling all the feelings’ but don’t quite have sentences to articulate my thoughts. I find this happens a lot; the emotion comes far before the words, and I spend days and months trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Fairy-stories were so important to me as a child, and when I’m stressed or overwhelmed they are the books I immediately climb back into. The easy answer here is that they are just places to escape. I’m curious, however, about Tolkien’s reflections on Magic, and must admit I believe in it on some level. But, that’s all I’ve got so far. I’ll keep reading and thinking during these long, cold, winter nights.

Of course this has nothing to do with Aimée Wimbush-bourque‘s beautiful new book, or the cheesecake recipe found on its pages, unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own. Are there, in fact, writers who jot measurements and short stories on paper, passing instructions from hand to hand, weaving tales throughout each generation? Does food have a history, contain ancient elements that have been preserved? Is joy, curiosity, enchantment, and even escape at times invoked? Maybe the act of cooking and eating is just primal instinct, nothing more than necessity. I’m not convinced.

“And actually fairy-stories deal largely, or (the better ones) mainly, with simple or fundamental things, untouched by Fantasy, but these simplicities are made all the more luminous by their setting. For the story-maker who allows himself to be ‘free with’ Nature can be her lover not her slave. It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of the things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine.”

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog
Chocolate-Orange Cheesecake
Adapted from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-bourque

Aimée’s new cookbook, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, is quite lovely. I changed a couple things from the original recipe. Her cheesecake is a citrus cheesecake, and I made this one just with orange juice. I also added a chocolate glaze to the top. This cheesecake is delicious! The light orange flavor and chocolate pair well together.

crust
1 1/4 cups | 300 mL graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons | 30 mL sugar
1/4  cup | 60 mL unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the melted butter over the top and stir with a spatula until combined. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool (leave the oven on).

filling
24 ounces | 750 g cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup | 175 mL sugar
1/3 cup | 75 mL sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
zest and juice of 2 oranges, scrubbed
5 large eggs, at room temperature

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat again until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla, orange zest and juice, and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition (but not too vigorously). Pour the filling over the cooled crust.

Bake the cheesecake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake has puffed significantly and the middle is still slightly jiggly (or until the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees). Move to a wire rack and let cool completely (the cake will sink a bit).

Cover the top of the cheesecake with parchment paper (just resting over the rim of the pan) and put in the fridge overnight, or for a least 8 hours.

glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and then add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the vanilla and stir until the glaze is smooth. Cool to room temperature. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the springform pan and spread the glaze over the top. Let the top set before slicing.

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

chocolate orange cheesecake | the vanilla bean blog

 

 

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32 Responses to chocolate orange cheesecake

  1. Ohhhhh this flavour!! Such a gorgeous recipe! And definitely great for any occasion.

  2. I definitely agree that fairy tales are a magical form of escapism – a momentary allowance to dream separate from the confines of reality. This chocolate orange cheesecake looks divine Sarah too!

  3. I love fairy stories and fairy tales! And this cheesecake looks amazing and I’m usually not a fan of cheesecakes :)

  4. This looks ridiculous. I mean, RIDICULOUS. Love this post and the photos. Need that book!

  5. Reading about magic is what got me really loving books when I was young. Before that I was always so scared of the size of the writing and how many pages the book had but when I started reading about magic I couldn’t put the books down. It lets you escape into another world :)

    Oh and this cheesecake looks very decadent and just yum! I will be reminiscing in the stories I use to read and dreaming of eating cheesecake all day today :) x

  6. Oh Miss Sarah. I basically stuck my nose into various fairy tale books at age 5 and never took it out again. Have you ever read any of the Andrew Lang color fairy books? I have pretty much the ENTIRE collection! My daughter is not as into fairy tales as I am ~ but I still buy a beautiful fairy tale book if I see one. They speak to my heart. As does your writing and your photos and your blog.

  7. I haven’t had the courage to try a baking a cheesecake since I had an epic fail with my grandmother-in-law’s recipe. Maybe this will give me the reason to try again.

  8. Abby says:

    This is just the loveliest post, Sarah. I adore your photos (I always do!!) and your writing is so beautiful. Aimée’s book looks incredible, too. <3 xx

  9. oh, sarah! i love this so much.

    “unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own. Are there, in fact, writers who jot measurements and short stories on paper, passing instructions from hand to hand, weaving tales throughout each generation? Does food have a history, contain ancient elements that have been preserved? Is joy, curiosity, enchantment, and even escape at times invoked?”

    why, yes, yes i do.

    and this: ““And actually fairy-stories deal largely, or (the better ones) mainly, with simple or fundamental things, untouched by Fantasy, but these simplicities are made all the more luminous by their setting. For the story-maker who allows himself to be ‘free with’ Nature can be her lover not her slave. It was in fairy-stories that I first divined the potency of the words, and the wonder of the things, such as stone, and wood, and iron; tree and grass; house and fire; bread and wine.”

    the magic in the mundane! i am so enchanted with this concept. it’s been a theme of what i’m sharing on my blog lately, too. thanks for posting these tolkien quotes. i am so on board with his (and your!) ideas about magic — i think us recognizing magic in mundane things like food and nature makes them all the more real; the colors of every day become more crisp and vibrant and alive.

    i can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see these things outside of my own mind.

  10. Chocolate and orange-my crack! I can’t wait to make this :)

  11. Jane says:

    wow. this sounds and looks so good!

  12. sabine says:

    You have a good point: Escape is what fairy tales, books in general maybe, and the act of cooking or baking have in common. At least for me. It´s easier to believe everything will be alright when the kitchen is steaming and there´s something delicious and comforting on my plate. And I mean that in the most joyful way!
    How can I get back to the cake now? It´s pretty gorgeous!

  13. SO beautiful and the combination of flavours is just wonderful!

  14. All I can say is ‘Yum, yum, yum!!’

  15. Kate says:

    ‘unless of course you believe food has some kind of magic of its own’
    Yes! This is a beautiful post Sarah and I love how you’ve added that chocolate layer. I’m a chocolate-orange girl so 110% approve.

  16. […] thing that could make you any sweeter would be the this featured orange-chocolate cheesecake by The Vanilla Bean Blog. The idea of curling up with this with and a cafe au lait by the window and a blanket sounds […]

  17. What a magical post. Made me smile as I was reading. Lovely cheese cake to pair
    with the musing and the sharing of your childhood.

  18. […] chocolate orange cheesecake. so much […]

  19. June Burns says:

    Such a great cheesecake flavor! Chocolate + orange is a wonderful combo :)

  20. […] cheese desserts, I don’t make too many cheesecakes these days. Then I stumbled upon this chocolate orange cheesecake from one of my favorite sites, The Vanilla Bean Blog. She paired the recipe with some Tolkien […]

  21. […] Sara of The Vanilla Bean Blog adapted my Citrus Cheesecake to Chocolate Orange Cheesecake […]

  22. Cheesecake, in each and every form, is my weakness. Loving that orange filling and chocolate glaze.

  23. Kari says:

    I love that chocolate top layer. It adds a great color and texture to the cheesecake!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  24. […] The Design Chaser. 2. Decor Dots. 3. Mocha. 4. Desire to Inspire. 5. The Vanilla Bean Blog. 6. This is Glamorous. 7. Entrance. 8. The Design […]

  25. I love that cake..absolutely love and what beautiful pictures!

  26. Wonderful flavors for a delectable cake

  27. hi,

    I am a French culinary blogger ( so excuse my English a little awkward ) and I came to see What did our friends across the Atlantic .

    I am delighted by your blog , beautiful pictures and beautiful recipes.

  28. […] can find the recipe for Chocolate-Orange Cheesecake on ‘The Vanilla Bean Blog’. Side note: How do I photograph like her? Everything is simultaneously ‘I do not care this is […]

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