Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Amazing Cheesecake

If you've ever made a cheesecake and had it bomb (and I have), then you'll want to watch this video. Chef trained, she teaches that the key to a good cheesecake is not filling the batter with too much air. Too much air means that the cake will rise up and then collapse during the cooking/cool down stage. In order to prevent this from occurring, beat the ingredients to a minimum. The recipe is first, and the video link is at the bottom.

This simple cheesecake is creamy and rich with just a tiny bit of sour to balance the sweetness. It's easy to make and is always at the top my "most requested desserts" list!

Cheesecake Filling
2 pounds softened cream cheese (four 8 ounce bars)
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 eggs
One 9-inch spring form/round pan, bottom buttered, lined with a round of parchment

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  2. Using a paddle attachment on your mixer (if it has one), beat the cream cheese smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape the mixing bowl and beater/paddle.
  3. Add the sugar in a stream, mixing until just combined. Stop and scrape.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix only until absorbed. Stop and scrape.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing only until each is absorbed. Stop and scrape after each addition.
  6. Pour the filling into the pan over the crust , and place the pan in a jelly-roll or roasting pan filled with water to a depth of 1/2 inch.
  7. Bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes, or until firm except for the very center. Remove from the pan.
  8. Cool completely. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic or foil and chill overnight before unmolding.
Cheesecake Crust
Chef Malgieri suggests using the following crust and its variations

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

One 9-inch spring form/round pan, bottom buttered, lined with a round of parchment
  1. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the yolk until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and gently fold them into the butter mixture with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be crumbly.
  3. Press the dough down evenly and firmly to cover the pan bottom, which has been buttered and lined with a round of parchment paper.
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at a low temperature (325 degree preheated oven), until the dough is golden and baked through.
Crust with almonds: Add 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) finely chopped sliced or slivered almonds to the dry ingredients

Crust with pecans: Add 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely chopped pecans to the dry ingredients.

(YouTube link

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