Monday, August 27, 2018

It Ain't A Birthday Without CHEESECAKE!

I can make a cheesecake at the drop of a hat.
Don't need no stinkin' recipe.
I just know.

Boy requested cheesecake for his birthday.
No problem.
I can make cheesecake in my sleep.
And every cheesecake is a little different, depending on what dairy products I have in the fridge.  If I have sour cream, I use it.  If I have ricotta cheese, I use it.  If I have cottage cheese, I use it.  If I have mascarpone cheese, I use it. (Although I don't remember ever having mascarpone lying around.)  As long as I've got cream cheese and eggs, I'm good to go.
Soooooo, I made the cheesecake with what was available, then gave it a chocolate glaze, and then poured some caramel sauce over it.
And it was good.

 I actually wrote down what I did so you can replicate it.
And you're welcome.

2 packages graham crackers
12 ginger snaps
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 TB unsalted butter, melted
Process all.
Press onto bottom and sides of 9" springform pan.

Process the crust ingredients until you get uniform crumbs.

Then firmly press into a springform pan.  Evenly.
I use a piece of plastic wrap and a mini rolling pin.

Cheesecake Filling
4 8-oz. cream cheese packages, softened
(I used 2 regular and 2 Neufchatel.  Because that's what I had.)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp salt
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB flour
2 TB corn starch
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (Because it was leftover in the fridge from something else I'd made and I didn't know when I'd have another chance to use it before it went bad.)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TB vanilla
In a food processor, process cream cheese until smooth.  Add each ingredient, one at a time, and process until smooth before adding next ingredient.

Pour into prepared crust.  Wrap springform pan in heavy-duty foil wrap and place in a larger pan.  Pour boiling water into larger pan, 1/3- to 1/2-way up the sides of the springform pain, being careful not to splash water into the cheesecake. This is now officially a bain Marie.  The purpose of the water bath is to provide gentle and uniform heat around the cheesecake, allowing it to cook slowly and evenly.

Bake in a 325° oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and bain Marie and let cheesecake cool on rack completely.
Then refrigerate until chilled (several hours or overnight) before slicing.
Ready for baking.

Done baking.

Let cool.

Release from springform.
Pretty.  And no crack!

It's Boy's Birthday, so I'm not stopping at plain cheesecake.
Next step is a chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 TB unsalted butter
2 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter.  Add corn syrup and vanilla stir until smooth.
Pour over top of cooled cheesecake and spread evenly with off-set spatula.


Not one to stop at chocolate glaze, I decided to go the next step and make caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
1 TB unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a small sauce pan, heat brown sugar and cream until dissolved and boiling.  Stir in butter and reduce to simmer.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour over cheesecake.

Like so.
Save some of that caramel to heat up later and pour over individual slices.

Ta daaaaaa!!!!!!!

Stick in a candle and call it Happy Birthday!


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