Tag Archives: cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

25 May

 

I find myself embroiled in the almost-end-of-the-school-year battle. Fourteen days left, which means the end is in sight and makes everyone (teachers and students alike) anxious to be out, out, out of school, but at the same time there are final exams to write and review lessons to prepare and, truth be told, I’m mostly interested in finding a hammock to read in.

For those of you preparing for a long weekend (yay!), here’s an easy recipe to share with your picnic pals, who will probably be more than happy to help you figure out where to put your hammock. Plus it doesn’t take too much time, so there’s plenty left for all the grading.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Printable Recipe

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup mascarpone, softened

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar and salt and continue mixing, until very well combined. Add the mascarpone and continue beating. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk and vanilla. Allow the mixture to become smooth, and then add the sour cream. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (ideally two, or overnight if you can stand it).

Once the mixture has chilled, turn on the ice cream maker and slowly pour in the ice cream base. Allow the machine to churn for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is visibly thickened. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and allow to set in the freezer for about 30 minutes (or you will end up with cold, tasty soup).

In the meantime, make the garnishes.

Strawberries

1 pound stawberries

1/4 cup sugar

Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. In a large bowl, stir together the fruit and the sugar. Allow to sit at least 30 minute. Use as a topping on the ice cream. Store the leftovers in the fridge.

Graham Cracker Crumble

6 graham crackers, crushed

1/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine all three ingredients. Mix together until crumbs are just moistened. Press out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown. Let cool. Break apart and sprinkle on top of the ice cream.

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Ben’s Cinnamon Pecan Cheesecake

14 Feb

“You are the only person who has understood even a whisper of me, and I will tell you that I am the only person who has understood even a whisper of you.” -Everything Is Illuminated

Yes, I know Valentine’s Day is a sort of baloney holiday. We should be showing the people we care about how we feel every day, not just the one time a year Hallmark has rigged up for us. But I have to admit that it does feel special to devote a whole to, well, devotion.

My valentine and I won’t be able to spend the holiday together this year–life has taken us down separate roads for the time being, so this 14th is a little bittersweet. Being apart like this probably has been one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life: so many low moments and less-than-sane moments. In the end though, we make the choice every day to stay the course, to say “I love you” before we go to sleep, and wait for the time when we are together again. I will be forever grateful to him for sticking with me even when we both seem like crazy people.

The very first thing I ever baked for him was a cinnamon pecan coffee cake, and he said this was the first time he knew he liked me. Some people write love songs, others love poems–I do love baking. I developed this recipe for him over winter break the last time we were together. He challenged me to compete against his mom in a “cook-off” of sorts, but she’s a chef and I’m a baker, so we each naturally chose our specialty. This dessert was a little nod to that very first thing I made for him, but all wrapped up in an elegant cheesecake. Make it for someone you love!

Cinnamon Pecan Cheesecake

Printable Recipe

Crust

11-14 graham crackers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

pinch of salt

Cheesecake

3 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened (7 8oz. packages)

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

5 eggs

Topping

1 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup whole pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″-10″ springform pan.

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Mix the crumbs, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together and press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Refrigerate the crust for about 15 minutes, until it is set. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In the meantime, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is fluffy–about 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and flour and beat together until incorporated. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined.

Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and place the springform in a large roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water in the roasting pan around the springform. The water bath will keep the cheesecake from cracking. Put the whole rig in the oven and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 325° and continue baking for about 30 minutes–or until the cake is starting to brown on top but is still a little wobbly in the middle. Turn off the oven but let the cake rest inside with the door open a little for about an hour.

Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Run a knife along the outside of the cake and remove the ring of the springform before serving.

To make the syrup, heat water and sugar in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes, until it is slightly reduced. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Pour the sauce over the cheesecake and serve immediately.

New York Style Cheesecake

29 Dec

It’s tradition in my family to have a cheesecake for Christmas Day dessert. This year, my mom passed the torch on to me, giving me dominion over the family cake. I chose a simple, elegant, and classic New York style cheesecake which tastes even better than if it came from a certain Factory.

New York Style Cheesecake

Adapted from We Choose Organic

Printable Recipe

Crust

11-14 graham crackers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

Cheesecake

3 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened (7 8oz. packages)

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 10″-11″ springform pan and, if you’re feeling cautious, wrap the bottom in aluminum foil.

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Mix the crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt together and press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. I find the bottom of glass wrapped in plastic wrap helps compact it nicely. Refrigerate the crust for about 15 minutes, until it is set. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In the meantime, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is fluffy–about 3 minutes. Beating 3 1/2 pounds of cream cheese is not without its challenges, but I promise all the effort will be worth it in the end. I find cream cheese to be one of the worst culprits when it comes to sticking to the sides of the bowl so make sure to scrape down the sides now and then.

Add in the sugar and flour and beat together until incorporated. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined.

Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and place the springform in a large roasting pan. Speaking from experience, it’s probably best to determine whether you have a roasting pan large enough to accommodate your cake pan before you are ready to bake. Thank goodness I’ve seen McGyver.

Carefully pour boiling water in the roasting pan around the springform. The water bath will keep the cheesecake from cracking. Put the whole rig in the oven and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 325° and continue baking for about 30 minutes–or until the cake is starting to brown on top but is still a little wobbly in the middle. Turn off the oven but let the cake rest inside with the door open a little for about an hour.

Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Run a knife along the outside of the cake and remove the ring of the springform before serving.

This cheesecake is rich and delicious by itself but would take well to strawberries or cherries on top. Enjoy!