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Friday, October 15, 2010

Cheese cake making knowledge and toppings

Post taken from suite101. I find that this post is rather useful in understanding cheese cake making.

Tips in making the Perfect Gourmet Cheesecake:

-The most common complaints about making cheesecakes is that they're hard to make and tend to crack. Here are some suggestions to help make the perfect cheesecake.
- Ingredients: Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- Mixing: Do not over mix. Too much air in the batter causes bubbles that can cause cracking. Mix just until creamy and all lumps are gone.
- Baking pans: Springform pans are the easiest to use for cheesecake. Take the pan apart, line the bottom plate with aluminum foil, then reassemble the pan. Pull the excess foil up and around the pan to prevent any batter from leaking into the oven. Spray sides and bottom with vegetable spray.
- Baking: Put a cake pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Not all cheesecakes get baked at the same temperature. What does matter is that fluctuations in temperature can result in unsightly cracks. Resist the urge to open and close the oven door while baking. It is hard to tell when a cheesecake is done and you don't want to over bake it either, which again causes cracks. The cheesecake is generally done when the sides are set and a little puffy and the very center is slightly wiggly.
- Cooling: Cool slowly on a wire rack away from drafts and at an even temperature for 2-3 hours. Some people lay a piece of paper towel over the cheesecake (not directly on it) to keep in some of the moisture. Run a sharp knife around the sides. Leave cheesecake in the pan and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Run a sharp knife around the pan once more before releasing sides. Peel the foil off the underside of the pan, gently lift the cake with one hand and peel off the foil sliding the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
- Rescue: When all else fails, and you end up with an earthquake size fissure down the center, there is still hope. Fresh fruit and pie fillings, frosting, glaze, cookie crumbs and ganache can always cover a multitude of sins and your guests will never know the difference!
- Freezing: Cheesecakes freeze great so why not make two! Double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 months.


NY Style Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust:

    * 1 1/4 cup ground graham cracker crumbs
    * 1 Tbsp sugar
    * 4 Tbsp melted butter or margarine

Cheesecake Filling:

    * 4 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
    * 1 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1/4 cup cornstarch
    * 1 Tbsp vanilla
    * 2 large eggs
    * 2 egg whites
    * 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pan of hot water in bottom of oven.
   2. Prepare 9 inch springform pan with foil and spray as directed above.
   3. Grind graham crackers in a food processor or crush very fine with a rolling pin.
   4. Mix crust ingredients and pat only on the bottom of prepared pan.
   5. In a mixing bowl on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth ~ about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides.
   6. Add sugar and cornstarch and beat again, scraping a few times. The mixture should be smooth.
   7. Add vanilla, eggs and egg whites 2 at a time. Beat until creamy.
   8. Slowly add the cream and beat only enough so there are no lumps and the filling is nice and fluffy. Scrape as needed.
   9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.
  10. See above for further baking, cooling, serving and freezing instructions.
  11. Sour cream topping variation: see below
  12. Refrigerate any leftovers.
  13. Serves 14

Sour Cream Topping:

    * 2 cups sour cream
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1 Tbsp vanilla
    * Mix all ingredients until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
    * When cheesecake comes out of the oven, carefully pour sour cream mixture on top of cheesecake.
    * Return cheesecake to oven immediately and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until set.

Whole Strawberry Topping:

    * 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
    * 2 cups seedless strawberry jelly, apricot jelly or currant jelly
    * This cheesecake calls for only the most beautiful, red-ripe strawberries you can find.
    * Make sure cheesecake is completely chilled.
    * Pat whole strawberries dry with paper towel. Stand up, cut side down in a pleasing pattern.
    * Heat jelly or glaze until runny, not too hot.
    * Carefully spoon or brush glaze over strawberries.
    * Return to fridge to chill before slicing.

Strawberry Topping:

    * 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
    * 1 cup sugar
    * Puree half the strawberries and the sugar in a food processor. Remove to a bowl.
    * Add the remaining 1 cup whole strawberries, stir and let sit for 30 minutes.
    * Spoon over cheesecake slices before serving.
    * This can be made ahead and refrigerated. Use on top of ice cream too!

Raspberry Topping:

    * 2 cups fresh raspberries
    * 1 cup sugar
    * See above topping directions.

2 comments:

babakoh said...

perfectly written. make a non experience person like me to have a rush of adrenaline to try it now! keep up the good job

Yvonnelew said...

babakoh~ its nicely written which is why i took the post from the website directly. Glad u feel inspired!

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