Read It, Eat It: Night of Cheesecake & Puppets
Have you ever read a book that makes you hungry? I can’t even look at some titles without thinking about food: Big Mooncake for Little Star, The Truth About Twinkie Pie, The Very Hungry Caterpillar…mmm. When I read Night of Cake & Puppets, I immediately thought about cake. Unfortunately for me, cakes aren’t really my forte, but somehow cheesecakes are, so I adapted the book into a cheesecake recipe for our annual company bake-off. If you’re so inclined to have a baking and reading day this weekend, you should try making the cheesecake inspired by Laini Taylor’s and her husband Jim Bartolo’s companion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy: Night of Cake & Puppets!
2½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup margarine or salted butter, melted
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1½ cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 lemon, squeezed
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Magenta or pink food coloring
Blue food coloring
Whipped topping (optional)
Fill oven-safe pan with water and place center on the bottom rack. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and margarine/butter until well blended. Press mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with brown sugar until smooth. Beat eggs into mixture one at a time. Add flour, lemon juice, lemon extract, and vanilla extract, and mix together until smooth.
Separate mixture evenly between two bowls. Add 3-4 drops of pink food coloring in one bowl, and 3-4 drops of blue food coloring in the other. Mix until smooth.
Alternate pouring the mixture to create layers. Use a skewer, toothpick, or chopstick and swirl batter to create a marbling effect.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Then, turn off oven and prop door open with wooden spoon. Let the oven cool down with the cheesecake inside. After 15 minutes, take the cheesecake out. Let cool for 1 hour. Cover and place in fridge. Let chill overnight.
Optional: Before serving, add layer of whipped topping, and sprinkle with blue and pink sprinkles.
Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.
New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy–the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.