On seeing the 100% perfect cheesecake one beautiful September morning

 
champagne-grapes-cheesecake

If you had told me five years ago, that by age 26 I would be in my dim-lit kitchen bringing in my birthday by baking a cheesecake and eating it on my own, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me I would meet a dainty cheesecake one day that would set me off on a whirlwind of a journey. I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me that I would spend my midnights perched next to the oven waiting for a cheesecake to come out. I wouldn't have believed you--not one bit--if you had told me that I would crave all night just to touch the satin skin that forms on top of the cheesecake as it gets baked. No, I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me that the puffed up and brown edges of a cheesecake was something that would push me to the verge of tears. I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me that by 26, the waft of freshly baked cheesecake would fill my life.

champagne-grapes-cheesecake

Right now, as I turn 26, it looks like a match made in cheesecake heaven. A romance, very paradisaical. So maybe, then I will continue baking and telling stories about her and my midnights in the kitchen. And see where the journey takes us. Here's to more!

champagne-grapes-cheesecake

So I have always loved the allure of a cluster of grapes. Imagine how beautifully a bunch sits atop a cheeseboard. That is kind of the idea here that I went with. While thinking of a mandarin orange cheesecake for an exotic birthday baking, I found these tiny Black Corinth grapes (Korinthiaki in Greek) in the market. They are these little grapes, also called table grapes, or more glamorously titled Champagne grapes--don't be fooled, these aren't the grapes used to make champagne, these grapes are called so because they look like champagne bubbles. My mind was made right then and there--these grape-lings would embellish my birthday cheesecake. You could also call them Zante grapes, which I reckon should be their formal name, since they originated in Greece. They are pea-sized, seedless gems where the entire bunch is edible, even the tiny stems. If I could call them something else, they'd most certainly be called little beads of bliss. 

Zante grapes complement this ricotta cheesecake so well; the tart-like sweetness of the grapes cuts through the perfect cheese filling in a dream-like manner. So, along with the creaminess swimming on your tongue, imagine soft fruity bursts of joy at intervals. Exactly why I call them little beads of bliss. I took her into my room and had bites from a bar of chocolate with her. Something to up the steam, surely you wouldn't blame me?

Did I tell you about  the rustic dried blueberries hiding in the bottom of the cheesecake? Oh, and about the muscovado sugar wallowing in the cream cheese mixture? Yes, there is more to it than meets the eye. Putting them in was spontaneous, just a whim.

One quick look into the oven and I know my life is good. I don't know what your beliefs are - I know they are personal - but there is a kink-loving cheesecake god out there. Somewhere.

champagne-grapes-cheesecake

My cheesy song for today's post - Your Spell by Bobby Glover