Saturday, June 19, 2010
From my personal experience, I've learned that you either love cheesecake or you hate it. For me personally, I actually dislike plain-old-cheesecake. However, once it is ice cold and topped with a flavorful sauce, perhaps a strawberry or BLUEBERRY SAUCE, it becomes tastier for me. Yes, that's right, you've waited long enough. I planned to use Ina Garten's Blueberry Sauce I made a week ago and froze, right here on this cheesecake. After a constant nagging from my brother to make cheesecake, I decided that I would. This was the first time making cheesecake so I searched the internet for the best cheesecake recipe. The recipe I ended up with came from Tyler Florence yet again. Remember what a flop of a recipe Tyler Florence's Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze came out to be for me? Well, hopefully Tyler Florence can redeem himself with this cheesecake recipe.
Now when making this cheesecake, I very well knew that I didn't have a spring form pan. I mean, I didn't want to go out and buy a new pan that was designated for a cheesecake so I decided to make mini cheesecakes by baking them in a cupcake pan. I thought this would be a great thing to do. It creates a great portion size and doesn't it just look, well, cool? Don't you just want to have one all for yourself? Plus, this way, you can make a bunch of Mini Cheesecakes with the same batter and change their flavors by the different toppings you can add. With this, you can offer your guests a variety of flavored Mini Cheesecakes instead of having one huge cheesecake that is flavored one way like what Tyler Florence's recipe suggests. So, I followed the recipe exactly and simply used a cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers. (When using the Mini Cheesecake method, it makes about 24). I added about 1 tbsp of the graham cracker mixture into the pan and flattened it out. Then I filled them almost to the top with the cheesecake batter. I then baked it in a water bath for about 22 minutes. It takes between 20 and 25 mins in the oven. It should be just set when you take it out of the oven. I then placed it into the refrigerator to finish setting up. After being in the refrigerator over night, I topped them with either the Blueberry Sauce, a home made Strawberry Sauce or Melted Chocolate. I then went overboard and put a bunch of home-made whipped cream on them that I made by HAND. Remember? I broke my mixer last week making Sticky Buns.....
These Mini Cheesecakes were actually really good! Tyler Florence redeemed himself. These were creamy, had the right amount of tang, a hint of lemon and vanilla flavor and the graham cracker crust had a nice hint of spice from the cinnamon and gave a great textural difference. Then, the different toppings really rounded out the flavors. Thumbs up to Tyler Floernce. I will be posting the recipe for the Strawberry Sauce in a couple of days so look out for that. Here's the cheesecake recipe!!
The Ultimate Cheesecake (6-8 servings)
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.
Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.
Warm Lemon Blueberries
1 pint blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.
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