Post #444 Cheesecake Fusion

January 4, 2016 at 11:27 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #444 Cheesecake Fusion

A long time ago, someone gifted me a cookbook called “Kraft Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese Cookbook”.

kraft-philadelphia-cream-cheese-cookbook-57023l1

It had a lot of different recipes, but predominantly it was cheesecake.  I love cheesecake.  My favorite is the dense New York style cheesecake, but I’ll eat the lighter, foamier cheesecakes with pleasure.  My addiction to cheesecake started in high school when a good friend talked about making a cheesecake the night before.  I told her I’d never eaten cheesecake so the next day she brought me a piece.  It was wonderful.  I had to learn how to do this.

My mom and I talked about it.  Mom had only had cheesecake a few times since it was a complex process.  A few days later, when I got home from school, she had a surprise.  She handed me a box and asked, “Feel like fixing this for dessert?”

no_bake_cheese_cake

It was simplicity personified.  Add melted butter to the already crushed graham crackers and press into a pie pan.  Mix the powdered filling with milk until it thickens and pour into the crust and chill for four hours.  Cut it and eat it.  I’ve eaten far more of these than I care to admit.  Once I melted Hershey’s Kisses and drizzled them over the top of one so it formed a neat crust on top.

A traditional cheesecake is a pie with a crushed graham cracker crust and a cheesy filling with lemon, sugar, and eggs.  It’s baked and cooled then topped or not, it’s eaten chilled.   Traditionally, it’s baked in a springform pan which is a straight sided pan with a removable bottom.  The side locks into place with a spring lock.  You can use a standard pie pan.

  • CRUST:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • FILLING:
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  1. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Grease the sides only of a 9-in. springform pan; press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour filling onto crust. Return pan to baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.  Remove from pan and chill for four hours.

That’s the basic traditional recipe.  All others carry on from there.  I’ve seen cheesecakes that were half a foot high and light and creamy, almost a whipped cream with a light sweet cheese flavor.  I’ve seen cheesecakes that had berries, candy, vegetables, and spices added to the filling.  I’ve seen them topped with sour cream, whipped sweet cream, berries, chocolate, meringue, and a bunch of other things.  I saw one once that had crushed blueberries folded into the filling that made my mouth water.  One of my favorite toppings is to take raspberries and push them through a fine-mesh sieve so it all turn to juice and there are no seeds.  Add a tablespoon or two of sugar to the juice and stir till its dissolved then drizzle onto the plate and over the cheesecake.  It’s good stuff.

So what brought this on?  I saw this a couple of days ago on a friend’s FB wall.

German Chocolate Cheesecake

I don’t know if you recognize it, but that’s a German Chocolate Cheesecake.  And I can’t wait to make it.

Start with the traditional recipe above but make a few substitutions and additions.  First, for the crust, change the graham crackers to either chocolate wafer cookies crumbs, or chocolate graham cracker crumbs.  Change the white sugar to brown.  Proceed as normal.  Second, for the filling, add one cup of melted chocolate chips, two tablespoons of cocoa, and one tsp of almond extract.  Substitute 2/3 cup brown sugar for the white sugar and proceed as normal.  Once the cheesecake is cooled, top with the standard nut topping (either homemade or purchased) and drizzle with chocolate.  Chill for four hours, cut and serve, then eat with gusto!

Enjoy

 

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