My wife asked me to make a cheesecake tomorrow. I’ll try to remember to take pictures before it’s gone.
See, some time ago I discovered that cheesecakes are simple. The questions are: how much cheesecake are you making, and what is your flavor?
The base recipe is two cups of batter. That’s 8 ounces of cream cheese (or my preference, neufchatel), 1/3 cup sugar, one egg (which is also about 1/3 cup), and 1/3 cup of flavor. My wife’s favorite here is sour cream but I’ve used jam, melted chocolate, and honey to great effect.
Beat the cheese to soften, beat in the egg to loosen it, beat in the sugar, and stir in the flavor. How much you beat in some air will determine the density. I like heavy, rich cheesecake. My brother likes them rather fluffy – I get almost double the volume from the same ingredients when making for him.
When making a single batch I’m fond of making individual servings. Instead of the more typical crumbs I use a cookie or graham cracker loosely trimmed to the right size. That goes into lightly buttered cupcake cups and I sprinkle the sides with graham cracker to coat. Into this goes the batter, and I bake it in a water bath at 250 degrees F for 20 minutes, turn off the oven and let it stay in there for another half hour. If you’ve the willpower move these to the refrigerator to let them further set.
(Some of you will recognize this as a partial reprint of a priestly endeavors post. I’d gotten almost done when I realized it. Ah well – I’m still making cheesecake tomorrow.)