yummy cheesecake

Well, the cheesecake was a total success. One person at the party, who is the dessert chef for a high-end restaurant, said, “this is the best cheesecake I have ever tasted.” Not bad, huh!

So here is what I did,

For the crust:

1-1/2 c. of crushed graham crackers (which seems to be a total of one of the cellophane packagettes of Honey Maid graham crackers.)
1/2 c. of melted butter
2 tbsp. of sugar
2 tbsp. of Ghirardelli’s Unsweetened Cocoa

For the cake:

3 packages of Neufchâtel cheese, warmed up to room temperature
1/2 c. of my neighbor’s yummy milk (but you can use any whole milk)
1/2 c. of sour cream
1 c. of sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c. of flour, sifted
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp. of vanilla essence

For the topping:

1 c. of raspberries cooked to a slurry
1/2 c. of sugar

Preheat the oven to 325oF.

Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. I used a potato masher, both to crush my graham crackers and to press them into the pan, which worked really well. Bake for 10 minutes. (I actually baked it for 15 minutes but it was a tad hard so next time I would back off on the time) Cool on a wire rack.

Take two large squares of aluminum foil and wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan.

Next, make the topping. Place the raspberries and sugar in a sauce pan. Place the pan over medium high heat and cook until the sugar melts. The raspberries will dissolve and mix in with the sugar. When the mixture is simmering, swirl the pan to evenly distribute the liquid and solids. Continue simmering gently (medium heat is best) until the mixture turns syrupy. I decided to leave the seeds in, since I like seeds. Cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a fork until soft and creamy – if your cream cheese is soft you probably could use a whisk but my cream cheese was too hard. After the cream cheese was nice and soft, I added the eggs, one at a time, beating with a whisk after each addition. Sift in the flour; stirring until smooth. I mixed the milk and sour cream together in a glass measuring cup, then poured it in with the other ingredients and stirred (gently!) in the lemon juice and vanilla essence. You don’t want to create any air bubbles. Mix until smooth and then pour over the prepared crust.

Now test the raspberries to make sure they pour nicely (on a plate will do). If they aren’t liquid enough, add a little water, if they are too liquid, boil down a tad more- but they probably will be just fine. I used a pitcher but it didn’t have very good control, I think I would use a pastry bag next time. Squeeze out the liquid in a spiral pattern on the top of the cheese cake.

Next, taking a knife, and starting from the center, draw the tip through the top of the cake to the edge. Make sure you are only drawing on the very top of the cake, not slicing through it. Then I washed off the knife, turned the cheesecake a few degrees and drew the knife from the edge of the cake to the center. Connie has pictures of this technique in her Strawberry feathered cheese tart recipe, except she draws the knife all the way across the tart. Either way, it makes a lovely pattern.

Place the springform pan in a larger baking dish. Pour enough water into the baking dish to come up to half of the height of the springform pan. The reason for the water bath is so the cheesecake’s top doesn’t crack while baking.  Bake for an hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for another two hours.

Take the cheesecake out of the oven, cover and cool to room temperature. Chill the cheesecake, covered, for a couple of hours before serving. I ended up with a tiny crack on the top of my cheesecake, I think because I didn’t cover the cake when I refrigerated it. It wasn’t that much of a problem since it blended with the pattern on top. To slice the cheesecake use a piece of dental floss (mint is not recommended but I used it and it didn’t seem to harm anything) draw it to the bottom of the cake and pull it straight out, don’t try and pull it back up through the cake. The dental floss worked well for the cake but then I had to use a pie server, that I washed each time, to cut through the crust since my crust was so hard. Not that I heard any complaints, you would not believe how much people loved this cheesecake – Maman even came over the next day and wondered if there was any left, which I can’t remember her ever doing.

Bon appetit!


2 Responses to “yummy cheesecake”

  1. Post a photo, please? :)

  2. Hi Connie!
    So glad you stopped by, I have been enjoying your site. Sad to say, I didn’t think of photographing it until it was all gone. It was eaten that fast, or my brain worked that slowly :). I have been considering making another, you know – just so I can photograph it…
    peace & joy

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