And the masses said, “Let there be cheesecake, a glass of bubbly, and a little Make Believe”

Today, one of my favorite upcoming authors, Ruth Ellen Parlour, offers up a review of the MAKE BELIEVE anthology and you can find it here.  Thank you, Ruth Ellen, for such a lovely review.  There is truly a fantasy story for everyone, whether high fantasy, dystopian or urban.  Just to let you know, fellow antho buddy, Terri Rochenski, is appearing on J. C. Martin’s blog today talking about Make Believe and heading up a giveaway of the book.  Make sure you pop over and read all about Terri and then sign up for your chance to win this great anthology.

In addition, Susan at mywithershins is interviewing Christa, Lynda R. Young’s main character from Birthright.  Make sure you head over to find out what kind of guy makes Christa’s motor purr.


I received two more nominations for 2012 Blog of the Year from mywithershins and wantoncreation, bringing my collected total of stars to 3.  The goal is to get six.  Thank you, fellow bloggers and friends, for your faith in me.  It means more than you know.

Now onto the really good stuff.  Yesterday, I was over on Rebecca Hart‘s blog and told her audience I would post my recipe for Champagne and Macadamia Nut Cheesecake today.  I haven’t made this glorious morsel this year, but I can promise you, the recipe is out-of-this-world fantastic.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a bit of time, about 9 hours from start to finish (yes, prep time and cooling takes time), but it is well worth every hour of love you put into it. And so, without further ado:

Champagne and Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

  • 1 cup Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 14 whole crackers)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 egg yolks
For topping:
  • 20 fresh strawberries, hulled
  • ⅓ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 teaspoon shortening, divided
  • ⅓ cup white baking chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bring Champagne or sparkling wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to ¼ cup, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cracker crumbs, macadamia nuts, ½ cup sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add condensed milk, cornstarch and Champagne. Add eggs and egg yolks. Beat on low until combined. Pour mixture over crumbs.
  5. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in aluminum foil. Place pan on a baking sheet with sides or in a roasting pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven. Fill the outer pan with about ½-inch of hot water. Close the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until and instant read thermometer inserted near the center of the cheesecake reads 165 degrees.
  6. Turn off the oven, but do not remove the cheese cake. Crack the oven door and allow the cheese cake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour. Afterwards, remove the cheesecake, carefully run a knife account the edge of the pan, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Remove sides of springform pan. Sprinkle the remaining macadamia nuts over the top of the cheesecake.  Slice strawberries and arrange them over top of the nuts.
  8. In a microwave or double boiler, melt chocolate chips and ½ teaspoon shortening. Stir until smooth then drizzle over strawberries. Repeat melting and drizzling with milk chocolate chips and remaining shortening.

As you only need one cup of champagne for the recipe, I suggest you not let the rest of the bubbly go to waste.  Pull up a chair, pour a glass of champagne and kick back with a slice of decadent cheesecake and a copy of Make Believe.  Relax.  Unwind, and completely enjoy.

Quote of the day:

“Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.” ~ Orison Swett Marden