Cherry Crumble Cheesecake Bars {Curse Worker Trilogy: White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart by Holly Black}

"You're Only a Finger Tip Away from Another World." ~ The Curse Workers

My friend Missie and I have known each other some time and we've always liked the same things. We've always enjoyed the same TV shows, movies, and of course books. So, I was thrilled when she contacted me and asked me to be a part of her Bookies to Foodies week a couple years ago. I loved this recipe and I have been wanting to share it here with you now! 

I recently finished reading Holly Black’s Curse Worker Trilogy, having read White Cat a few years ago it was about time I read Red Glove and Black Heart. My only disappointment was not reading them sooner!

The Curse Worker Trilogy is about a young man named Cassel Sharpe. By-the-way I love Cassel!! He’s really an anti-hero, which is why I love him so much. He’s not the typical “good guy” even though he does try.

See he comes from a family of curse workers. People who can manipulate people’s emotions, change/steal memories, break people’s bones by just touching them and so on. There is a wide range of talent - some only being able to work little charms so to speak and those who have a talent that only comes along once in a generation like transformation. There are also those who do not have any talent at all. Cassel is one of those people. In a powerful family such as his he really is an odd one out.

With his mom in jail, his dad gone, and his brothers working for a big crime lord it only made sense for him to go away to a private school. It was the school food and more specifically school desserts that inspired these Cherry Crumble Cheesecake Bars!

In the Red Glove Cassel eats Cherry Crumble for dessert while dining in the school cafeteria. When I was at school and the rare occasions that I had a school dinner, I favored a packed lunch, I remember having dessert bars. So, a combination of the book and my experience so here is how I made them:

Cherry Crumble Cheesecake Bars

300g (2 cups) plain flour
100g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
228g (2 sticks) butter, softened
360g (12-ounces) packages cream cheese
120g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 425g can of black cherries, pitted – 213g/7oz of fresh cherries, chopped
crumble topping (recipe follows) 

Heat the oven to 180C/350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x9in square pan or a 13x 9in baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and the sugar until combined. Then add the eggs 1 at a time and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust. Evenly spread out the chopped cherries before sprinkling the crumble mixture over the top. Bake for 40 minutes or 30 minutes if using a bigger pan. Leave to cool in the fridge and serve it up!

Crumble Topping:
200g (1 cup) brown sugar
150g (1 cup) flour
60g (1/2 cup) rolled or quick cooking oats
114g (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Yield: approximately 3 cups

If you use a can of cherries don’t waste the juice reduce it in a saucepan with a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch, and a tsp of vanilla extract until thick and jelly like. Use it as a dip or drizzle on top!

I cannot recommend these Cherry Crumble Cheesecake Bars enough! The same goes for this series! I loved reading about Cassel and I wish I could read more about him! Thinking a re-read is in store sooner then later!

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