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Thursday, December 22, 2011

I like mastering new methods

I guess you could say I am a self taught cook of sorts. The things I learned to cook from scratch I learned after I left home and was married. I did watch my mom from a distance when she cooked but she always shuttled me out of the kitchen when I was young. So as far as cooking with her and actually cooking at home I did not. But anyway, in the kitchen, I think even the best of methods can be improved upon. One is cheese cake. I have made cheese cake in the past and I know it is basically a custard that is baked. And if you bake a custard it must be at low temps. To keep this temp in control it is easiest to do it in a water bath. So the method to my cheese cake making now includes setting the pan in another pan that contains water about half way up the sides of the pan in which the cake actually resides. So I will share with you the recipe that I use and if ya follow the method I guarantee a great creamy smooth perfect cheesecake.

First I pan prep. I do use a spring form pan. Butter the bottom of the pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom and butter it as well. Now cut strips of parchment to cover the sides of the pan and butter those as well. If using a spring form pan, set pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and bring it up the sides of the pan to prevent water from the bath from soaking into the crust. Set aside while you make the crust.


33 graham crackers crushed and left chunky
1 stick of butter melted
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix crushed graham crackers, butter and sugar till mixed well and press this into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lower oven temp to 250 degrees.

20 ounces cream cheese softened
    1 ¼ cups sour cream
    1 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    3 yolks
    1/3 cup heavy cream

In large bowl beat sour cream for 10 seconds, add in cream cheese and sugar and beat smooth. Mix together eggs , yolks and heavy cream and vanilla. Add about half of this mixture to cheese mixture and beat well, stop and scrape bowl. Continue beating and add remainder of egg mixture. Beat till very smooth and creamy. Pour into pan over crust. Set prepared pan inside a pan that is a lil larger and add hot water to come half way up the side of the cake pan. Put in the 250 degree oven for 1 hour. After it bakes for 1 hour, turn off oven and let cake sit in oven for another whole hour. At this point it should be set but a lil soft. Remove from oven and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. After it has cooled for 6 hours you can run a sharp knife around the sides and remove them. The cake should be firm enough to turn upside down on a plate and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment. Then cake can be turned right side up and it is ready to serve.
Cheese cake does not come out well if you use low fat ingredients as the fats are what give it the great smooth consistency. I think what makes this work so well is you are cooking the custard like filling in a water bath to prevent drying and cracking the top of the cake.

Well if ya haven't figured it out yet we are not having a traditional holiday of any kind at our house. But I will fix a nice meal this weekend that we can eat on all weekend and cheesecake will be our dessert. That is unless Rodger eats all the dang thing in 2 evenings. I still might make myself a Rum cake tomorrow. Just because I like those and I only make them once a year. Not much planned for us so we get to spend the holiday at home just chilling out and relaxing.
To each and everyone of you I wish a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and have a blessed holiday how ever you choose to celebrate the season. Just remember the reason for the season.


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