2012! Say ‘Cheese’…cake!

A brand spanking new year has arrived and with it…a new food blog! Hello internet, my name is Amanda, a mid-twentyish (26, as of this posting) young woman with a major enjoyment for cooking and baking. Admittedly I do lean MUCH more toward baking then cooking, so that is where the main focus of Amanda’s Oven is going to be.
Now, I think it’s time to get things started, don’t you?

Please excuse the poor photo. It tastes so much better then it looks here!

I do believe I mentioned Cheesecake?

So cheesecake. Who doesn’t love a good cheesecake? Well, I’m sure there are some out there but I’m not talking to you loonies at the moment, so find another blog to peruse for the duration of this posting. (Oh, but please do some back another day! I promise I didn’t really mean the ‘loonies’ bit!)

I’m terrible at describing anything, so the best I can tell you about this particular dessert? It’s good. Really, really good. Creamy and just so delicious, without feeling to terribly heavy or dense. Just…yum. Very much yum.

...drooling yet?

Care for a piece?


Cheesecake

For the crust:
1 ½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1 tbsp sugar
¾ stick butter (6 tbsp), melted

1 -Preheat your oven to 300*F.
2 -Crush the crackers (I used a food processor to get them nice and fine!) and mix with the sugar.  In a 9in or 10in springform pan, mix the three together till everything is nice and moist. Press into the bottom (and up the sides, if you so desire) of your springform pan.
3 -Bake on a baking tray (in case of leaking) for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is hardened and golden brown in color.
4 – Allow the crust to cool.

As crust is cooling…

For the filling:
1 1/2 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb marscarpone cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest

1-  Heat oven to 300*F (..which is should already be at since that’s what you’ve just baked your crust at. :)
2- Cream the cheese and sugar together in a mixer for 5 mins until light and fluffy
3- Add the eggs and yolks 2 at a time, mixing in well – scrape down the sides to make sure everything in incorporated
4- Add the sour cream, lemon and vanilla. (it should be feel heat-neutral to the touch).

—-NOTE: Now, here I differed from the written recipe!  Original it wanted to be cooked at 450*F for 15 minutes, before turning down the oven to 225*F and then baking for another 1 1/2 hours. AND THEN it wanted you to turn off the oven, crack the door and let it cool there for another 45 minutes. I am just not that patient.  I did something different. :) If you’d like to bake your cheesecake that way, go ahead and pour your batter into your pan and have at it. Read further for how I bain-marie’d it instead. —-

5- Put some water on to boil. As water boils, grab some heavy duty tin foil and wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan in multiple layers. Your goal here is to create a sort of watertight, if not completely waterproof, barrier around your pan. Once this is done,    place this now-wrapped pan inside a larger baking pan.
6- Once wrapped and placed into larger pan, pour your batter overtop your crust. Put both pans, one still inside the other, into the oven.

Don’t shut that door yet! Remember the water put on to boil? :)

7- Poor the hot water into the larger, outside pan until it comes up 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up your foil-protected springform pan. NOW shut your oven door.

8- Bake in the bain-marie for 55 minutes to an hour, or until the top of your cheesecake no longer looks glossy, and is just slight jiggly in the center. (My oven is full of wonky, so I believe mine took more like an hour and a half. After the 55 minute mark, I just watched and waiting for non-glossy, slight jiggliness.)

9- Once done, remove from oven (carefully, so as not to splash the water for you bain-marie onto your cake) and allow to cool completely before moving it to the fridge to finish it’s cold cooldown.

10- Slice, and enjoy!

My family is partial to cherry topping. We cheat, it's canned. :)

Or slice, add your favorite topping of choice...and THEN enjoy.


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