Eddy's Recipes from
|Some sort of Cheesecake is
available almost everywhere you go these days. There are Cheese-filled Danish
Pastries and Coffee-Cakes for breakfast, Cheesecake flavored cartons of Yogurt
eaten at lunch, Cheesecakes are offered as a Dessert in almost every restaurant.
In the supermarket, they can be bought fresh, frozen, or as a mix. At a time when
it seems as though every other person you know is trying to lose weight, more
Cheesecakes are sold than ever before. The variety of flavors and toppings is
infinite. What they have in common is that we find them irresistible.
The subject is a minefield.
There are as many opinions as to what constitutes a good Cheesecake as there
are recipes. When I was a girl in California, there was only one sort served.
It was Vanilla flavored, made from Cream Cheese in a Graham Cracker crust, with
no topping. The place to find it was in one of the few bakeries which catered
to those who had relocated from the East Coast. I was utterly indifferent to
its charms. Then, on a visit to New York, a dear cousin took me to the famous
old Lindy's restaurant and I began to see the light. In short order I discovered
Italian Ricotta pies, and my search for new ways to enjoy this treat has never
You must acquire a 9" springform pan, since virtually all recipes call for one. A springform pan (sometimes called a latch pan) is made in two pieces. One is a flat disc, and the other is a ring, about 3 inches high, which fastens around the disc. The ring is controlled by a lever which is a spring, hence the name of the pan. When something is made in a springform pan, the disc becomes a base for the finished product. The sides of the pan are removed, and the disc is placed on a serving plate with the Cake upon it. If you want to give a party and serve several Cakes, buy several pans. Please take my word for this. If you try to remove the Cake from the disc, it will break, probably fall all over the place, and undoubtedly give rise to indelicate language. You will also need another pan which is a few inches larger than the springform one, and deep enough to hold about 2 inches of water.
When you are going to make a Cake, turn the springform pan upside down, and wrap it with wide heavy-duty Aluminum foil. Place the pan in the middle of the sheet of foil and press the foil to it, up to the top. Springform pans leak, unless you do this. Most Cheesecakes have a Crumb Crust which you will bake in the pan at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. You will then pour the basic mixture on top of the Crust.
To bake the Cake, place the large pan in an oven which has been preheated to 325 degrees, then place the springform pan inside it. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it is about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the springform pan. Then push the rack into the oven and leave the cake alone for about 1 1/2 hours. DO NOT try to do these machinations before you put the pan in the oven. If you try to lift a pan filled with hot water and Cheesecake batter into the oven, you will slosh, spill, get burned, and make a terrible mess. When the hot water sloshes on you, you will drop the whole thing and it will take ages to clean everything. Although you will sometimes see recipes which do not call for this method of baking in a water bath, I wouldn't do without it. Cakes done without the waterbath run the risk of being dry, and the cracks being much worse. (Most cheesecakes have cracks, which is why you always see them with toppings, even the plain ones do have something to mask the cracks)
When the Cake is done, chill it before you remove the sides of the pan or try to cut into it in any way. Although many things are very nice right from the oven, Cheesecake is not one of them. The structure must be cold, before it is disturbed. To remove the Cake, run a thin bladed spatula around the sides, then open the latch and remove the ring.
I am certain that many of you will want to know if there is a way to have Cheesecake without Fat and Sugar. The answer is yes, and no. The texture of the finished Cake is dependent upon the Fat content of the ingredients. If a recipe calls for Cream Cheese, Cottage Cheese, or Ricotta Cheese: feel free to play with it and find the lowest Fat version which is acceptable to your palate. You may substitute Non-Fat Evaporated Milk for Whipping Cream, and use Low-Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk rather than the full Fat sort. The texture WILL be different, but it may be fine to you. A word of warning--Because the "mouth-feel" of low Fat Cakes is different, there is a tendency to consume a great deal more in order to be happy. Do be careful. About sugar--You may substitute a non-aspartame artificial sweetener for up to half the sugar in baked cheesecakes. Do not use an aspartame based sweetener, because it will break down with the application of heat. Unless you are Diabetic, do not try to do away with Sugar altogether, because there will be a large difference in both flavor and texture. Do not omit or lessen the amount of Flour in these recipes. If you run across a recipe anywhere which does not call for Flour, ignore it, unless you are a very accomplished baker. Milk and Eggs both have long Protein molecules which curl together at high temperatures in cooked mixtures, ergo curdling. The only sure way to prevent curdling is by coating the molecules with Starch; that is why you should use Flour. Apply this piece of advice if you are making any sort of Egg and Milk combination which is cooked. A tablespoon of Flour added to a Custard will prevent disaster. On to our recipes....
Basic Cottage Cheese Based Cake
4 cups smooth whipped Cottage
Basic Cream Cheese
Individual Sized Cheesecakes
You may prepare any of the above cakes to be individually sized by this method. Line muffin cups with foil liners. Don't use paper liners or the cakes will stick to them. in the bottom of each liner place a small round cookie of any flavor you like. Pour the batter on top of the cookies and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Chill, remove from foil liners and serve.
Basic Carageenan-Based Cheesecake
2 packets unflavored Carageenan-Based
2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah
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