Posts Tagged ‘Cheese Cake’

Say Cheese with Cheese Cake

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

United Kingdom…. A place I want to call home(after India of course). Some of the best years of my life were in the UK, got my first job there, secured a flat and experimented with lots of cuisines, but the best part was making so many friends. We would eagerly wait for Wednesdays in the uni cafeteria as the menu would feature orange cheesecake. My friends and I used to sit and enjoy till the last crumb of the cake is finished, helping ourselves to pots and pots of coffee.

After marrying N my cooking improved as he was a total foodie and most of his friends were almost like chef’s in their own field- most of them are master’s of the grill. I have already written about PM, who taught me the trick of tasty salads. One of our friends, C and I are absolute dessert lovers. Whenever we all meet to eat out, I try to catch his eye after dinner to make sure that I will have some company for dessert.

It goes without saying that cheesecake is my favorite. I have tried making cheesecake lots of times(failure is the tasty step to success here) and finally got it almost like a cheesecake. I followed some recipes by friends and also from food network(Giada- but I have to trust this skinny chef for cheesecakes). The official and unpaid photographer of this blog (N) is traveling and I hope the clicks I took are OK.

Ingredients:
For the base:

Crakcers/Cookies – 10 numbers
Sugar- 2 tsp
Butter- 2 tbsp

For the cake:
Cream Cheese- 1 cup ( 8 ounce can)
Whole milk Mascarpone Cheese- 3/4 cup (you can also use Ricotta cheese)
Eggs-3
Sugar 3/4 cup
Vanilla Essence/ Almond essence- 1 tsp
Lemon zest/ orange zest- 1 tsp (optional)

Method:

The best way to make cheesecake is to keep all the ingredients at room temperature. That way the cheeses softens on its own instead of beating it with a hand blender. Let the eggs and cheese stay at room temperature for two hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a blender, add the crakers(or cookies), sugar and powder well. Melt the butter in a pan slightly and add it to the blender with the crackers. Pulse once or twice so that it forms like a dough.

I prefer a deep (dish)baking pan than a broad cake pan as the cake gets the height from the pan we choose. Select a baking vessel accordingly and sprinkle some butter on the bottom of the pan and press down the cracker dough(to act as a base).

Use a tin foil and cover the sides of the pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or till the cracker base turns golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool. Do not remove the base from the pan, just the pan from the oven.

In a mixing bowl add softened cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Just use a hand mixer and go around the bowl twice or thrice, do not over mix the cheeses.

Add one egg at a time and incorporate the eggs into the mix. Add sugar and essence and mix well again. Add orange zest for color and flavor(if you are adding the zest) and slightly mix.

Heat water in a kettle till it reaches a boiling stage.

Pour the cheesecake mix into the pan which has the cake base( the cooled cracker base). Do not remove the tin foil used to cover the sides and base of the pan.

In a cake pan, pour the hot water till half the level and slowly place the cheesecake pan into the water bath.

Slowly place the water bath into the oven. Bake at 350 for one hour and ten minutes.

To check if the cake is done, slightly shake the cheesecake pan. The cake has to be firm. If there is some liquid at the centre and it moves slightly, that is fine and it will settle after cooling.

Remove the cake from the water bath and cool at room temperature for an hour or two hours. Cover and place the cheesecake in the fridge for 8-10 hours before serving.

Notes:
Baking the cheesecake in water bath gives the texture for the cake and also the softness. You can add any topping for the cake or even mix it with the cheese batter. Options are strawberry jam, sauce, chocolate sauce, fruits, powdered sugar etc etc.. I just did not want to make the cheese cake heavy by adding a topping 😉