Life & Other Stuff

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dreamy, Creamy Cheesecake

Adventures in Cheesecaking...
It was the day before my last birthday and I was less than thrilled about getting older.  No plans for the day except to go to work and then small group afterwards.  I knew that I wanted to at least acknowledge the event but keep things simple.  Not a big fan of cake (I'm more an obsessor of cheesecake), I decided to try my hand at making one, deciding to share it with small group on my birthday evening.  Thus, the adventure of my very first (well, maybe my second but this one turned out so good, we'll just pretend it was my first) began.

I NEED a RECIPE!  I went straight to my BFF who is a baking diva.  (We live on opposite sides of the country from each other and often our conversations revolve around food and cheesecake.)  She said she had the perfect recipe for me; simple and the best texture ever.  Shall we just say that texture and richness in cheesecake is crucial to "worthy of eating" cheesecake!

Dreamy, Creamy, Cheesecake
(Imagine deliciousl creamy cheesecake photo here.  My photo wouldn't upload.  Future photo coming!)

15 graham crackers, crushed
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 all-purpose flour

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
2.In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
3.In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Serves: 8-16 (pending sizes of slices and how much you wanna hog the pie)

A few extra tips:
  • Use a medium disposable roasting pan to fill with water and place springform pan inside.
  • To further protect the pan, wrap a plastic (clear) roasting bag around the springform pan before placing in water.
  • Leaving the cheesecake in the oven for hours afterwards is key.  It really works!
I served this cheesecake with a strawberry preserve smothered over the top.  True to what my BFF said, it is seriously one of THE BEST cheesecakes I've ever eaten. 

Funny story:
The strawberry preserve that I used was actually something I brought back from a business trip to Poland. It's all I had at the moment to make it pretty. What makes it unique is that it's preserve "with Vodka".  The Polish are known for their Vodka.  Gotta keep warm somehow.  Now, I thought that the preserve was cooked with Vodka, cooking out the alcohol.  But after eating my slice, I realized that it was more like preserves sitting in Vodka.  Woohoo, I felt the burn!  Unfortunately, it only came together in my head what had happened after I had served it to my small group.  Shhh, don't tell them.  One person wondered if it was rum.  Woops!

This is what I call YEEHAW Cheesecake.  LOL!

Future Adventures:  Cheesecake Toppings.  Stay tuned...

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