Rhubarb and Orange Cheesecake and Alfie’s Bargain

It’s been a trying week.  I’ve had Alfie home with acute asthma.  On the plus side, we didn’t end up in hospital like we have on so many previous occasions.  But I did have to give him steroids and he did need many doses of ventolin and ventolin is good for the lungs but bad for the behaviour.

With so much stimulant on board I had a week of him climbing walls and bouncing on furniture and talking non-stop and being disobedient and making noise and being demanding.  AND BEING DEMANDING.  And the days were long and he was bored most of the time so we needed some projects to fill his days.

Rhubarb and Orange Baked Cheesecake

We did cooking together (nothing worth showing you) from his Cooking with Kids cookbook.  We made macaroons and chocolate frogs in jelly cups and lemonade jellies.  And he loved the cooking but what he really wanted to do was go to the mall.

By Thursday the persistent nagging had worn me down so we went to the dreaded mall where I bought him new clothes that he thought were nice but what he really wanted was some Play Station games.  ‘We don’t have enough money for those games, Alfie’.

‘But I brought my pocket money’.

‘How much do you have?’

‘Twenty-two dollars and fifteen cents’.

‘That won’t be enough Alfie.  Not enough for even one game’.

‘But we could just see.  They might be cheap’.

‘They’re not cheap Alfie, they’re a rip-off’.

‘But not in Target.  Everything’s cheap in Target, mum.  That’s what it says on the ads’.  Talk about being sucked in by slick advertising.  So we went to Target.  Target doesn’t even sell the games needed for our Play Station.  The shock was enough for Alfie to need another dose of  stimulant and off he went, spiraling into orbit.  He wouldn’t stop going on about the Play Station games and how they must have them in other shops and how they may not be really expensive and ‘Can we just go there, mum?’

Baked rhubarb and the syrup juices

Worn down, I said I’d take him to the department store to prove the price.  That would shut him up I thought.  But after we’d climbed the escalators to the top level where they hide all these ‘necessities’ I found not only did the store stock Play Station games, they had them reduced.  Reduced from $75.00 to a sticker price of $9.95.  I couldn’t prove anything to Alfie besides he was right and I was wrong.

Alfie pulled out his little plastic zip lock bag with his precious $22.15 and took it to the counter with two games, the Matrix and Cars.  He handed everything to the man behind the counter who advised me there had been an enormous error.  The games were not on special and should not have been marked down in price.  I stood there stunned.  Alfie had no idea what was going on.  The man phoned his supervisor and a discussion ensued and when he hung up the phone he advised that although the games had been marked with a greatly reduced and incorrect price, they would honour the marked-down price.  Alfie was overjoyed.  I looked forward to going home with some games that would absorb his focus and attention and hopefully allow me some precious uninterrupted moments in another room in the house.

The baked base of the cheesecake

But we came home and found the packets were empty.  The man hadn’t put the discs into the cases.

Yes, Alfie scored an unbelievable bargain (as long as I drive back to the mall and ask for the missing discs).  And that’s a job for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve hired him some DVD’s and that has given me time to make this baked cheesecake.  It is probably the best tasting cheesecake I have ever made but it does require quite a bit of time and it does need to be made the day before required.

Rhubarb syrup poured over the cheesecake

Rhubarb and Orange Baked Cheesecake

Serves:  12-16

Degree of Difficulty:  4/5  It’s not that hard to make, it’s just time consuming

Cost:  It cost me around $25.00 to make this dessert

  • 725g rhubarb stems, cut into 5cm pieces (I had to buy 2 bunches)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 500g caster sugar, plus 1 tbs extra
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1kg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 400g sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 110C.
Place rhubarb in a single layer in a roasting pan and scatter with half the zest and juice, and 250g caster sugar.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours until tender.  Transfer rhubarb to a sieve set over a bowl to catch the juices.
Increase oven to 180C.  Line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan with baking paper.
Combine butter in a bowl with crushed biscuits and brown sugar.  Press into the base of the prepared pan in an even layer.  Bake for 10 minutes or until pale golden, then remove pan from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Increase the oven to 220C.
Grease the sides of the cake pan.  Place the cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5 minutes or until smooth.  Beat in flour, a pinch of salt, remaining 250g caster sugar and remaining orange zest and juice.  Beat in eggs and extra yolk, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until smooth.  Beat in half the sour cream.  Pour mixture into pan and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 110C and bake for a further 30-35 minutes until just set but still wobbly in centre.  Turn off oven, open door slightly and allow cake to cool in the oven for 3 hours.  Set cake aside.
Preheat oven to 150C.
Mix remaining 200g sour cream with the lemon juice and the extra 1 tbs caster sugar.  Arrange the drained rhubarb in a single layer on top of the cheesecake.  Spread the sour cream mixture over the rhubarb and return it to the oven for 20 minutes or until set.  Remove cake from the oven and leave to cool, then cover and chill overnight.
Place reserved rhubarb juices in a saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer rapidly for 5-6 minutes until reduced and thick.  Leave to cool, then pour into a small jug and chill until ready to serve.
Run a knife around the sides of the pan to release cheesecake, then carefully remove.  Drizzle over syrup and serve.
This recipe is from the August issue of Delicious Magazine.

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  1. Oh no!! Hope you don’t have any troubles getting the discs tomorrow! What a shame, but so happy they honoured their marked price! That cheesecake looks delicious 🙂

  2. foodycat says:

    Poor kid – hope he’s feeling better soon! Great looking cheesecake.

  3. J Cosmo Newbery says:

    Ooooo….now that sounds nice!

  4. J Cosmo Newbery says:

    The cake, not Alfie’s problems.

  5. That is a beautiful cake and I hope that the store comes through and gives you the discs tomorrow. And more importantly that Alfie is better soon and back to normal xxx Jo

  6. That cheesecake looks absolutely stunning!

  7. I would have been SO pissed off to get all the way home without the games after going through all that noise at the shop. “for $9.95 you only get the box.”

    I would have needed this cheesecake after all that 🙂 I would enjoy it, I’m sure.

  8. Oh dear, what a week! I have a headache on your behalf. I need some of this dessert I think 🙂

  9. Amy @ Elephant Eats says:

    Haha, poor Alfie…and poor you for having to deal with a little ball of energy! This cheesecake sounds totally delicious. What a great combo of flavors.

  10. Oh i do know how that went,, i had four boys before my girl and we used to rent the machines and the games, plus two bottles of coke which they never allowed to drink otherwise. i retreated to my boudoir for the 24 hours and the boys would have a marathon ..This only happened very occassionally and after days and days of insistence.. i had two asthma kids too.. poor alfie so i do feel your pain!! Loved the cheesecake.. c

  11. yummychunklet says:

    I hope Alfie is feeling better. Kudos for finding the great deals, despite your second trip to retrieve the discs!

  12. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Poor Alfie. It can’t be easy being confined and hyper through no fault of his own. What a coup for him to find the games on sale, even if it means more work for you. The cheesecake looks amazing. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to either rhubarb or blood oranges, but I can dream. And drool.

  13. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Hope Alfie recovers soon.

    I’ve never heard of making rhubarb cheesecake. My husband’s uncle used to make rhubarb pie every year.

  14. A_Boleyn says:

    Poor Alfie and poor you.

    And after all that running around, being proved WRONG as to a cheaper price, the incorrect pricing and then, very fortunately having the store ‘honour’ the incorrect price, to get home to find that the discs hadn’t been placed into the boxes. I would have SCREAMED. I certainly would not have had the patience or energy to make this amazing cheesecake. Kudos to you, Charlie.


  15. Poor Alfie! I can only imagine his disappointment. I hope you can get the discs without too much fuss. Lovely looking cheesecake! And I hope Alfie’s feeling better soon.. xx

  16. Glamorous Glutton says:

    Don’t you hate it when that happens. Not only the cost of the fuel but the car park and poor Alfie’s disappointment. I had no idea that what ventolin does, but it explains a lot about the behaviour of one of the Glam Teens when he had asthma as a young boy. Tough to manage, I know. Love the cheese cake. GG

  17. So sorry about your week – poor you and Alfie.
    That cheesecake does look worth all the effort. It’s quite spectacular looking. Cheesecakes are never a quick dessert but worth the making.

  18. InTolerantChef says:

    My littlej had a week off before the holidays with terrible asthma as well, the doctor said people are being hit hard with it this year. Unfortunately for her (perhaps better for me) any walking around made her puffing worse, so we were restricted to the house…. Except for several doctor visits Inc. Chest xrays!
    I think this recipe sounds awesome, I just love rhubarb and have a few kilos squirrelled away in the freezer. Yummo!

  19. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Well done Alfie! That is so very annoying that he didn’t put them in the cases though. I hope he’s feeling better soon (for both your sakes!).

  20. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says:

    I absolutely LOVE rhubarbs!! I bet this tastes fab!

  21. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    I think that man purposely didn’t put the game into the cases.. hopefully it will be easy enough to get the CDs. It’s hard with retail, sadly if the incorrect ticket pricing was put on the product and a consumer proceeds to purchase, they have a right to get it at that price. Otherwise that shop is subject to misleading conduct. (yep, been in that situations many times before). anyways, hope Alfie gets better! And what a lovely lookign cheesecake, a wonderful combination xx

  22. Jeno@ Weeknite Meals says:

    Charlie, sorry to hear about Alfie’s asthma, hopefully he’s recovering well!

    I have NEVER tasted rhubarbs, my lovely friends from the Northwestern side of US rave about it, they’ve planted some in the organic garden and promised to bake me a pie when the plant is ripe, I have a feeling they did that while I went on my 12 day vacation… Looks like I can only drool over your photos…

  23. Oh no poor Alfie 🙁 fortunately I’ve never had asthma but i’ve got really bad ezcema and sometime i also get asthma like symptoms and have trouble breathing smoothly >_<

    LOL i can just imagine Alfie being hyperactive 😛 must've been both good and bad for you hehe ~ but i love this cheesecake i remember seeing it in the magazine too 🙂

    WOW great bargain Alfie picked up YAY!

  24. corrie from corriecooks.com says:

    LOL poor thing…I’ve bought empty cd cases too! delish looking cheesecake!

  25. Wow go Alfie with his stunning shopping skills – I guess persistance really pays off huh? 😀
    This cheesecake looks delicious! I hope it helped poor Alfie recover quickly!


  26. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says:

    Aww no! Poor Alfie! My brother had bad asthma when he was a child too, but it’s all better now…maybe it gets better as they age?

    Did you end up returning to the shop to get the discs? You should have! That’s terrrible. 🙁

    Hope Alfie gets better!

  27. So sorry you had such a long and trying week!
    a sick child is not easy to handle along with everything else in the house and the kitchen.
    Hats off to you for makinf this beautiful cheese cake in such conditions

  28. food photography says:

    Hi Alfie,
    I tried this recipe yesterday ! It works!
    My kids like the
    rhubarb and orange baked cheesecake so much! Thank you for making me look like a professional cooker. 🙂
    i’d like to invite you to submit your food photos on my Food Photography site, just to make others hungry 😀
    You know it’s fun to do that. LOL. Hey, probably they would do this recipe too. 🙂

  29. justonecookbook says:

    I hope Alfie’s asthma is better. I have mommy friends who struggle with their kids’ asthma attack. Not only kids, but also it’s a challenge for moms in any level.

    Phew, what a day! I can see your frustration and it happens especially when kids are sick and home all day. What a trip – bargain and now empty cases. But it’s a great bargain!

    Wow your rhubarb and orange cheesecake looks wonderful! The shining syrup make my mouth water… Looks amazing!

  30. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Poor Alfie and poor you! Loving your cheesecake though.
    🙂 Mandy

  31. Poor Alfie, poor you! Thank goodness for this cheesecake – just a little spoonful would have to make the world a better place!

  32. tania@mykitchenstories says:

    Perfect combination of flavours Charlie. rhubarb and creamy cheesecake. I am sure a slice of it made you feel better about the day

  33. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    This recipes absolutely intrigues me as I’ve never heard of baking rhubarb and we have a lot of it here in Minnesota, although not this time of year. Secondly, for your sake, I hope Alfie is soon back to health. Finally, I’m glad to hear the store honored the incorrectly marked price, as they should have. Hopefully they will give you the missing contents upon your return without any hassle.

  34. Wow! What a bargain! How lucky that they honoured the marked down prices. I think by law they have to do it here in Canada, but what could you do if they didn’t? The cheesecake is beautiful and I bet it was delicious! I absolutely adore a baked cheesecake; it’s the texture that has me sold.
    I can’t believe Target is in Australia too; they bought Zellers a couple of years ago and are planning on coming to Toronto in 2013…we’re counting the days. It will be nice to have another option other than Walmart.

  35. What a terrific bargain! Goes to show persistence pays off 🙂

    Though I am thinking you might have some trouble in future trying to find more such marked down games. I go to Game Stop every now and then, but even there the new games are literally off the charts. Now a days the boys have taken to buying games from the net, and they are BIG into minecraft – or is it mind craft? Psst!

    I think I need a piece of that gorgeous cake.

  36. I taught preschool for many years, Charlie, and some of my little guys with asthma were indeed sooo different in their behaviors when they were on their meds! I administer the asthma inhaler and within minutes theire hyperactivity and overstimulation was almost hard to believe! I feel for you, and for poor Alfie. It must be a terrible feeling to live with!
    You could still bake a cheesecake of this caliber with all of this going on? You’re an inspiration! I hope they don’t try to pull a slick one on you with the empty game boxes. To do that to a little boy who paid for them with his own money is just unacceptable! oxo

  37. Hi,
    I hope Alfie is feeling better now. It’s tough when kids are unwell. For the kids as well as for the moms.
    I am glad he got a great deal though.
    The cheesecake looks wonderful! I love the glaze on top.

  38. Despite my not being a huge cheesecake lover, I had to make this as I love anything with rhubarb – and it just looked so darn good! I found it to be delicious, and I took it over to a friends house to ask their honest opinion, and they said it was the ‘best cheesecake they’ve ever eaten’. There are a couple more of your recipes that I am looking forward to trying – the date dessert cake will probably be the next one – but 2 thumbs up on this one for sure.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’m so glad you tried the recipe and that it worked well and you all enjoyed it. We loved it too. And do give the date, chocolate and almond cake a go. It’s really delicious and a dessert I make quite often because it’s quick to do but super delicious xx

  39. A really interesting and wonderful sounding cheesecake. I’m sure Alfie was thrilled and I hope he’s feeling better now.

  40. What a trying time! I’m glad you were able to avoid the hospital, though — asthma is scary stuff. I’m also glad you posted this recipe — rhubarb and orange sounds like a lovely combo and cheesecake is a comforting dessert!

  41. Sounds like you’ve had such a long few days! I hope you served yourself up a giant portion of cheesecake as a reward!

  42. Ha, I think I’d have put them for sale for a profit when I’d got home with them, but to be fair, games don’t have a very good resale value so it’s probably better that he gets benefit from them by playing them instead of trying to turn a profit ;D

  43. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    The cheesecake does sound good. I think the rhubard has passed its season as I haven’t seen it in the market but will save the recipe for next season.

  44. I adore rhubarb! Rhubarb on cheesecake sounds like a fantastic idea:-) Your cheesecake looks beautiful! Hugs, Terra

  45. That would definitely have to be a special occasion recipe for me but it looks fabulous 🙂

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