Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Cheesecake! With Caramel Sauce.

I'll just let you feast your eyes on the cheesecake.
Please, take your time.

It gets even better.
I didn't think that was possible.

As you know if you've been following me for any time,
Rosie doesn't do "leftovers."
Rosie does "moreovers."

I never liked the word "leftovers."
It's negative sounding and not very appetizing.
I needed a word that describes what I do.
I take food that may have been blessed a time or two before,
and come up with something new and different.
It's not "leftovers."
It's "moreovers."

Years ago, I wrote this:

Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household.
And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers.
Immediately after writing the word "leftovers,"
I knew I needed another word that was more real, more definitive, and positive.
First I thought of the word re-do's.
But that implies it wasn't done right the first time around when it certainly was.
Then I considered do-overs.
But, of course, that, too, has a negative connotation.
I've put a lot of thought into this trying to come up with just the right word which describes
the process of what I do in the life chain of the produce and viande
I prepare and serve and consume.

And my word is Moreovers.

Think about it:
You've already produced and served a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast.
So, what's next?
MORE is next.
When you say "Moreover," you're likely going to top what you previously said,
put an exclamation point there,
and/or put it in bold or italics.
So, I have no leftovers.

So, where is Rosie going with this, you ask?
Well, I'll tell you.
The other day when I made a grape salad,
I only used half of the dressing on the grapes.
So I needed something to do with the other half. 
Enter ...  the cheesecake. 
Done deal.

And by the way, Mr. Hawthorne,
pronounced this "the best cheesecake you've ever made."
And I've made a load of cheesecakes in my lifetime.
And never a "bad" one.
Even a "bad" cheesecake is good, right?

Let's start with the crust.

4 graham crackers
16 ginger snaps
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Process all ingredients until well combined
and press into bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan.

Prepare the filling and pour into the pan.

1/2 of the mixture left over from the grape salad
And half of that mixture would be:
1/4 stick cream cheese, softened
2 TB sour cream
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Rest of the ingredients for cheese cake:
1 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
2 TB cornstarch
1 TB vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
Rosie tip:  When you want room temperature eggs
and don't want to wait,
place them in a bowl of hot tap water.

In a processor,
combine the grape salad dressing ingredients
along with the cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt,
lemon juice and zest, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla.
Mix well.
Add in eggs, one at a time, 
processing well after each addition.

Pour into prepared springform pan.
Bake at 325° oven for 60 minutes.
Turn oven off.
Leave cheesecake in oven for 15 minutes, 
with door ajar.
Remove from oven and let cool on rack.


When cooled, remove from pan.

While the cheesecake was cooling,
the hamster was running,
and I decided to make a caramel sauce.
Because sometimes, more is more.
And this is one of those cases.

Do not be afraid of caramel.
That said, stand over the pot of melting sugar the entire time!
Do not go check your email.
Do not go to the bathroom.
Do not walk out to the mailbox.
Do not do anything.
Except stand over the damn pot.

Melted sugar can go from a beautiful caramel
to a burned mess in a split second,
so you need to be vigilant.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 TB unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt

In a heavy, perfectly clean sauce pan,
heat sugar and water over medium heat,
stirring until combined.
Stop stirring now!
Simply swirl the pan until the sugar melts
and turns a light amber color.
If you've gone too far, you can smell it.
Throw it away, clean the pan, and start over.
If you have a thermometer, go for 350°.
However, color and smell should work just fine.
Add in butter,a few pieces at a time,
whisking until combined and melted.
Remove pan from heat
and slowly pour in the cream.
Expect bubbling and steaming.
Whisk constantly until all cream is incorporated.
Stir in salt and set aside to cool.

For the step-by-steps:
Here's the sugar and water to begin with.

You want a gradually darkening.

Almost there.

That's the color you're aiming for.

Add in the butter, whisking to melt.

Whisk until all butter is melted and incorporated.

Slowly and carefully,
pour in cream.

Whisk away.

When cream is incorporated and mixture is smoothsmoothsmooth,
set aside to cool.

Drizzle caramel over cheesecake.

Rosie moans...

The texture is silken.

And if you insist on healthy,
throw in some fruit!

And that, my friends, is cheesecake!
And you are welcome.

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