Posted by: njbrown | December 15, 2009

More about cheesecake

December 15, 2009

Snowflakes are dancing in the air, the tree in the town square is decorated, and all of a sudden, it feels like Christmas.  Cheesecake isn’t particularly Christmasy, but it has become my next challenge, given the cracking problem I’ve always experienced.  More Googling has resulted in additional tips.  One writer said that cheesecake really is a custard, and you have to think of it as such.  “Low and slow” seems to be the common approach to non-cracking cheesecakes.  Water baths have pros and cons, but the point of the water bath seems to be to keep the temperature low.  Instructions that make sense from a succesful cheesecake baker follow:

“I love to bake cheesecakes. I bake them and give them to “cheesecake lovers” for their birthday (or other special occasions). My cheesecakes never or crack. I bake them as such: I preheat over to 350 degrees, put my cake in the oven, and immediately turn the heat to 250 degrees. Bake 1 and 1/2 hour — turn oven off and leave in oven for at least three hours without opening the door. Remove from oven and continue to cool. When completely cooled, refrigerate or freeze. I prefer to freeze for a few hours to aid in the slicing. “

I think the first time I saw a cheesecake was on a visit to my dearly loved aunt in the Pittsburgh area when I was in high school.  Aunt Dot liked cheesecake, and I couldn’t understand how anyone would like a dessert made with cheddar cheese (the only thing I could visualize).  I don’t know when I actually tried cheesecake, but it was love at first bite.  Sarah Lee was the cheesecake of choice in the 60s.  More sophisticated ones came into my life in following years.  As much as I’d like to master cheesecake (one blogger wrote that it is an “ego thing”), the thought of many thousands of calories calling out temptation is an obstacle – a slight obstacle.  Maybe I can give away most of them…



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