Holiday Cheesecake with a Secret ingredient
How I love cheesecake! I only make them at the holidays though because they are so decadent. When I arrive at the party with one, everyone thinks I spent a fortune purchasing it from a fancy bakery but no…just homemade by little ol’ me.
To begin any cheesecake you need a good crust on the bottom. The crust I made this time incorporated German spice cookies (similar to those windmill cookies with almonds) walnuts and butter. Using the food processor, I pulsed the cookies (about 15 of them) and a handful of walnuts until it was in fine crumbs, then six tablespoons of melted butter was pulsed in. In a spring-form pan lightly greased on the sides with butter and lined in the bottom with parchment (no butter necessary here because the crust will have plenty) the cookie crust mixture was then added and made level on only the bottom pressing firmly down with a spatula.
The next step was to add the cheesecake part. In the past I used the 1, 2, 3 method which is to say; one cup sugar, two eggs, and three 8 oz packages of cream cheese or the lighter Neufchetel cheese. The only difference in this particular cake was one more package of cheese. I was going for a bit more heft because I have a great big family to serve and the recipe is very forgiving. It is important for the cheese to be room temperature so it will mix easily. Using a hand mixer on low run it until all the ingredients are smooth and well blended. This may take a while. Resist the urge to speed things up. You want to incorporate as little air as possible to achieve a dense cake.
Once the mixture is well blended and no lumps appear (some small ones are OK) wrap the bottom in aluminum foil to prevent melted butter from burning on the bottom of the oven, bake it in a slow oven at 300° for one hour. When finished the center can be a bit jiggly but not liquid. If it seems too liquid give it another 10 to 15 minutes.
The next step is to cool and freeze the cake overnight. By freezing this assures the cake will easily release from the pan, off the base and the parchment can be removed without breaking the cake apart. A paring knife helps to coax it off of the base and remove the parchment before placing it on a foil wrapped cake round or cake plate. Before serving, a glaze of 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon of sour cream makes a beautiful and tasty finishing touch. After glazing, the cake should thaw for one hour. Cutting is a trick too. I’ve used a thin knife oiled with butter or canola oil…any oil that won’t have a prominent taste.
I know even the amateur can make this cake. You have now been equipped with the knowledge…. plus knowledge of a secret ingredient. If your confidence in making a crust you can trust is lacking, just use a package of graham crackers (9 whole crackers) instead. The rest is as easy as 1,2,3!
This entry was posted on December 5, 2014 by divaofdelicious. It was filed under Uncategorized and was tagged with cheesecake, cookie crust, cream cheese, dessert, glaze, Holiday recipe, life of the party, secret ingredient, tweak a recipe, windmil cookies.