You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? --Ratatouille (Pixar, 2007)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chowin' Down on Cheesecake

Hey Everyone!

Back again, just a month later, with a new post. Well...somewhat new.
A couple months ago I made a New York Cheesecake and never blogged it. I was busy, something got in the way; I don't know. However, a recent trip to New York City over the weekend reminded me to get to blogging that cake named for the Big Apple. Nevertheless--to the recipe:

Most people think that a cheesecake is a hard thing to make. To some degree they're right. While the ingredients and process of prepping a cheesecake aren't too hard, there is one major intangible of the cheesecake--cracking. I had no idea until I actually got into reading recipes, but cracking is a prominent peril for cheesecake bakers everywhere. My only despair. Later in the recipe post I will talk about how to prevent cracking...or how I at least desperately tried to.

Basically--this is a recipe I found online on that I changed a bunch because I didn't really love everything it did.

In a LIGHTLY (see those buttery graham crackers? think about it...) greased springform pan...

One normal pack/box of about 16 graham crackers, crushed
ABOUT 2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup AP (not like the classes you're taking!) Flour
 Preheat your oven to 350...

In a medium to large ziploc bag, place as many of the graham crackers as you can fit inside. Close tightly and pound with a meat mallet (if you're lazy) or with your hands (if you're fun) on the outside of the bag against a hard counter top or even the floor. Do this with as many bags of crackers as it takes until they're all ground into a fine mince/grind (not sand, more gravel-y). 
Pour the crackers into a medium bowl and mix with the melted butter. Don't let this recipe bully you--if your crackers look slightly too dry, use a little more than 2 tablespoons of butter. Worst comes to end up like Paula Deen, chowing down on something a LITTLE less diet friendly. If you're baking a cheesecake you probably aren't thinking about that anyway...
When you're done with them, press the mixture into the bottom of your springform until it creates a full bottom layer.

In another large bowl, cream the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth (preferably with a paddle attached mixer). Furthermore add the milk, then the eggs (1..then the 2nd...then the 3rd...then the 4th). Next add the sour cream (a delicious moisture adder that adds the substance milk can't while adding the lightness that butter or a heavy condensed cream wouldn't). Add the vanilla and flour and combine until smooth. Pour into pan onto crust.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cake sit in the oven for a few (3-4 hours more...TO PREVENT CRACKING! I did this--but still ended up with a huge crack down the middle of the cake. I hope it ends better for all of you presentation wise...
Chill before serving.

All in all--though I didn't get the stylish look I wanted because of the cracking, the cake tasted great! It was a little awkward treating myself to a piece of gourmet cheesecake more than once in that week though.