This photo pretty much sums me up this week; face planting into a cake without a care in the world. When food is involved…the chaos melts away. It’s a good reminder later in life to not take things so seriously. Baby Christine surely didn’t. We should all take a life-lesson from baby Christine.
In fact, that’s my mindset as my birthday looms ahead this weekend; unabashed pure indulgence and celebration! My only real question is whether or not I should face plant into today’s cheesecake. It’s full of fragrant roses which are wonderful for the skin so…
In the spirit of celebration I wanted to start the weekend early and with some bubbles! So I enlisted the help of Twist your Spirits to realize my vision; something reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Twist Your Spirits makes lovely artisan cocktail kits that include everything you need to make cocktails at home with ease. Whether mixing a drink seems daunting to you or you just want fun libations with minimal fuss for your next party, these kits are idyllic.
Each kit contains everything, from ingredients to tools, to make 8 drinks; you just add your spirit! This time around I went with the Sparkling Rose Cocktail Kit which was created as a nod to the Old Hollywood champagne cocktails of the gilded era. Rose simple syrup, orange bitters, and sugared citrus berry candies for added fizz are mixed with either champagne (or prosecco) for a festive floral drink. Twist Your Spirits kit is designed by award-winning mixologists to empower you to craft your own delicious cocktails at home or on the go. Check out my other recipe using their Smoke y Margarita kit!
Let me eat cake!
—Probably what Marie Antoinette meant to say
Carrying on with the rose (and Marie Antoinette) themes at play here I wanted to make myself a birthday cake that encapsulated the spirit of the day—and the Sparkling Rose cocktail! I made a mascarpone cheesecake infused with sage and rose and lemon. This light and creamy filling rested atop a buttery almond cookie crust and paired perfectly with the effervescent rosy drinks.
If the task of making a cheesecake seems daunting—there are a lot of steps and precautions to take—just take your time. I’m a self-professed flawed baker and if I can handle this recipe so can you! Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time, plan everything out, and don’t make this last minute. Cheesecakes need a lot of love and pampering, and a lot of cooling time.
Typically cheesecakes call for anywhere from 1-1/4 cups sugar. I got crazy and made a rose and sage simple syrup to carry the flavor theme throughout this recipe. You’ll want to make this first and allow it to cool to room temperature! You also want to be sure to use a water bath for baking and to wrap your springform pan securely in foil to avoid any leaks. You will find more info below, but the main thing is to go slow and stay calm. Then celebrate your success with a drink!
This cake is very moist and subtly flavored. I opted to add some minced rose and sage to the filly for more flavor and a rustic look. Sipping bubbly rose cocktails and indulging in bit after bite of this decadent cake was the stuff of my birthday dreams—and it’s only Thursday!
This post was sponsored by Twist Your Spirits but all enthusiasm and sentiments are my own!
- For the Cocktails
- Makes 8
- 1 Twist Your Spirits Sparkling Rose Cocktail Kit
- 2 bottles champagne or prosecco
- Rose petals to garnish, optional
- For the Curst
- 1 ½ cups almond cookie crumbs*
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
- For the Filling
- 24oz Cream cheese
- 8oz Mascarpone
- 1 ¼ cup rose and sage simple syrup (recipe below)
- Pinch salt
- 1 Tbsp. minced sage
- 1 Tbsp. minced edible rose petals
- Zest from one lemon + 1Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- Boiling water for water bath
- To Make Rose Simple Syrup
- Make Ahead
- In a saucepan combine 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 cup water.
- Over medium heat allow sugar to dissolve before adding in 10 sage leaves and about 4 cups of washed edible rose petals. I used mostly white petals to avoid a pink hued cake.
- Bring mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the syrup has a strong rose flavor. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- Allow to cool completely at room temperature before making your cake.
- If you have any left over it’s great for cocktails or drizzled over pancakes or waffles!
- Make the Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease the bottom of a 9-inch spring formpan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Wrap the base of the pan tightly with a few layers of foil. This is important for the water bath, more on that later.
- In a food processor blend almond cookies and sugar until fine. Mix in melted butter until well incorporated.
- Press cookie crust into pan firmly at the bottom.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown, remove from oven and set aside.
- Make the Filling
- Lower oven temp to 325°F.
- In a stand mixer whip cheeses until smooth and creamy on a medium speed. About 3 minutes.
- Slowly add in simple syrup. It will look very runny, don’t panic.
- Next add in salt, lemon zest, sage, and rose petals, followed by the vanilla.
- When everything is mixed add in eggs one at a time. Let each be mixed in completely before adding the next. I recommend cracking the egg in a small bowl first to avoid any shells in your filling.
- Pour filling into springform pan, tap on the counter a few times to release any bubbles, and place pan in a larger pan or baking dish and place in the oven.
- Then carefully pour boiling water into the larger pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan.
- Bake for 90 minutes and DON’T open the oven to peek!
- The middle will still jiggle a bit but this is fine! It will continue cooking after the oven is off.
- I let my cake cool for about 30 minutes in the oven with the door cracked. Before cooling on a baking rack for another hour or so. (I left it in the pan).
- Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
- To remove cake from pan use a knife to loosen the sides before carefully removing the ring of the springform pan.
- I decorated the cake with rose buds that I submerged in water to clean and then dried on paper towels.
- This cake is subtly sweet, creamy, and full of floral flavor. It’s perfect for dessert or afternoon tea…if you have afternoon tea…
- To Make the Cocktails
- Simply follow the instructions on the Twist Your Spirits Recipe Card!
- Use your favorite champagne or prosecco and garnish with a rose petal if desired!
- *I used a crispy almond butter cookie for the crust. You could use another simple cookie or graham crackers if you’d like.
- I used about 14 roses for this cake (inside and for décor).
- While coming up with your own recipe for a cheesecake isn’t that difficult, the execution can be scary! Here are some tips to help along the way.
- Bake your cheesecake in a water bath. This helps regulate temperature.
- Be sure to wrap your springform pan securely with foil above where the waterline will be. This is to avoid any water leaking into your cheesecake!
- Sudden changes in temperature can cause cracks in your cake so do not open the oven during baking. Let the cake cool a bit in the oven after baking. And let it cool completely before refrigerating.
- Don’t start baking your cake at midnight unless you have to. You won’t get to bed before dawn…