OMG. Each year, my friend Bill has a themed birthday party. This year’s theme was “Gnome if you want to”, a steal off “Roam if You Want To” by the B-52’s. Gnomes are said to be subterranean and have become very popular garden items. You may remember The Smurfs, from Saturday morning cartoons, (blue gnomes) who lived in mushroom houses, right? So, Bill ordered Candy Cap mushrooms online from lifegourmetshop.com and asked me to make cheesecakes with them for his birthday.
To be quite honest, I had never heard of these precious nuggets. They came dried and with directions to reconstitute them and had the faint smell of maple syrup. Of the limited number of recipes online, some called for the ground, dehydrated powder, but since I was making four cheesecakes, I thought it best to reconstitute them and placed them in the food processor.
I chose to make one of the few recipes I could find online, along with two variations of Ina Garten“s fabulous cheesecake recipe with the mushrooms added to the mixture. I started by making the graham cracker crust.
While that was baking, I made the cheesecake filling. Let me add that at this point the kitchen smelled like maple.
I placed them in the oven and began making the next one. I am not a fan of maple, and 30 minutes into the cooking process, the entire house reeked of maple syrup. In fact, my house smelled that way for over a week. They tasted fantastic, and even after refrigeration, the aroma of maple filled Bill’s house the night of his party. Very tasty, but very aromatic.
I couldn’t resist adding candied bacon as a topping. Reminded me of a Sunday breakfast with pancakes and of course syrup, eggs and bacon. I think was the party favorite.
The next cheesecake, I decided to make a ginger snap crust and topped it with Livesay Orchard Porter Peach Butter and toasted pecans. That was my personal favorite.
I made a plain cheesecake and a variation of a recipe I found on Skilletdoux. I changed the crust to chocolate wafer cookies, and added a caramel topping. The cheesecake mixture was the same, made with tangy goat cheese.
Again, of the three, I liked the Porter Peach butter version, but that candied bacon was so good too. Try making one of these or a regular cheesecake for your next special dinner. It’s not as hard as you would think. Below is the recipe from Skilletdoux. I simply omitted the sauce and used caramel and make a chocolate wafer crust.