Happy Birthday, Marina Makes!

A newborn, career change, and over 100 posts later and the blog is a year old! It’s been quite the adventure starting Marina Makes, one that I never really thought I’d still be on, but here I am still keeping up and sharing my love for food and crafts. It’s still messy around here (very messy with two little ones) and I’m continuing to learn so much about myself and the importance of consuming the things I enjoy.

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I can’t thank you all enough for reading my posts and following along as I journey through marriage and motherhood! It has meant the world when you reach out to simply comment on my posts, or let me know that you’ve tried one of my recipes or have been inspired by one of my DIY posts. You all encourage me to continue finding happiness cooking and crafting and I’m blessed to share my world with you 2-3 times a week. I look forward to continuing to share our life adventures (eats, DIY and all) in the years to come.

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Of course, I can’t end this post without mentioning my greatest supporters, my family. Throughout this year, they’ve been my biggest fan club, constantly cheering me on when I need an extra push and always being patient with me when I want my space to write or take pictures. I pretty much owe all thanks to my husband, who made my dreams a reality by encouraging me to take a leap of faith and believe in myself.

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Don’t you worry, I thanked all of them appropriately by making them a goat cheese and blackberry cheesecake (adapted from this recipe), and as a thank you to all of my readers, I’m sharing it below.

I hope you all continue finding joy in the people and hobbies you love most. Cheers!

Goat Cheese & Blackberry Cheesecake

Ingredients 

Graham Cracker Almond Crust

  • 2 cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz of goat cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 oz of sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

Blackberry Syrup

  • 2 cups of blackberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp of corn starch
  • 2 tsp water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Make the crust by combining the graham crackers, butter and almond extract in a bowl with a spatula until evenly moistened. Pour the crumbs in the pan, pressing down on mixture to distribute everything evenly on the bottom and one inch up the sides. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.

 

Next, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and goat cheese on low speed for one minute until smooth and free of any lumps. I used my whisk attachment to make sure everything incorporated appropriately. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream and almond extract. Make sure to continually scrape down the sides of the bowl. The batter should be well-mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the springform pan.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 50-55 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle slightly, so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least four hours.

While the cheesecake is chilling, make the blackberry sauce. Combine sugar and blackberries in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for about five minutes. Turn off the heat and force mixture through a sieve and into a heat-proof bowl to remove the seeds from the liquid. Pour the blackberry sauce back in the pot.

In a small bowl, mix the water and corn starch to create a slurry. Pour cornstarch slurry in the pot with the blackberry liquid and stir to combine. Cook liquid over medium-high heat, letting the mixture boil for another 5-7 minutes until sauce has thickened and reduced. Set aside and let it cool completely. Do not place in the fridge because the sauce will harden.

When the cheesecake has cooled in the fridge for four hours or more, cut slices with a non-serrated knife and top with a generous drizzle of the blackberry sauce.

 

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