Arsip Tag: cheesecake

blackberry cheesecake galette – smitten kitchen

This uses a small amount of blackberries, a sprinkling throughout the cheesecake. We like the level but it could easily be increased to 1 1/2 cups. It’s not essential that you chop and macerate them a little but I did so to get more of a jammy swirliness, not just dots of berries throughout. You could use any other berry or chopped fruit, of course, blackberries were simply what looked best at the market this week (and also someone emailed me recently asking for more blackberry recipes and I aim to please). You’ll need the lime zest after the lime juice but do yourself a favor and zest what you need first or suffer the bad mood that comes from doing it in the other order.

  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) blackberries, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white (you’ll use the yolk in a minute)
  • A few scrapings (from about 1/4 lime) lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • To finish
  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 heaped teaspoon turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios (optional)
Make the pastry: Stir the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Sprinkle butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. Sprinkle sour cream and 3 tablespoons water over mixture and stir it to combine; it should form large clumps. Transfer clumps of dough onto a piece of plastic or waxed paper and pat into a ball. Wrap into a packet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days, or you can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small bowl, combine blackberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, a squeeze of lime juice and cornstarch. Stir and set aside..

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with whole egg and egg white until light and fluffy. Beat in 7 tablespoons remaining sugar, zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Assemble the galette: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan (springform or standard), standard pie dish or 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan or plain pastry ring (on a larger baking sheet) with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper for extra security.

On a floured counter, roll chilled dough into a large (12- to 14-inch) circle. If your kitchen is very warm and it’s softening too quickly, stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes at any point to make it easier to work with. Carefully drape the dough in the prepared pan, let the edges hang down the sides. Pour in cream cheese batter then spoon blackberry mixture and any juices that have puddled in the bowl over the cream cheese in dollops. You can use a toothpick to lightly swirl them together, being careful not to poke through the bottom of the dough. Gently lift the dough’s overhang and pinch it into loose creases — you’re going to want to do this in the air hovering over the filling and not by pressing down on it, of course, because the filling is liquid. Gently, loosely lay the creases down over the filling; repeat all around. Do not fuss over getting the creases or any other part of this pretty; it will be, no matter what.

Combine egg yolk and water in a small dish and gently dab over outside of crust with a brush. Because the filling under it is liquid, here too, don’t strive for perfection. Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar. Sprinkle whole tart (filling and crust) with chopped pistachios, if desired.

Bake galette: For 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cheesecake portion comes out batter-free. Let cool in pan on a rack; I move it right to the fridge because cheesecake is best cold. Once fully cold, if it can be unmolded (from a springform, tart pan, pastry ring or loosened easily from a pie pan), you can transfer it to a serving plate. Cut into wedges. Don’t forget to share.

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cheesecake bars with all the berries – smitten kitchen

This has been my go-to cheesecake for as long as I have cooked. Gourmet Magazine published it in 1999, but the recipe hailed from Santa Fe’s Three Cities of Spain coffeehouse* a place I didn’t know a thing about until this week, when curiosity got the better of my intentions to something succinct about cake for once in my food blogging life. Up the road from an artists’ colony, it was apparently a popular hangout in the 1960s for local bohemia, hosting an eclectic mix of entertainment from poets and musicians to foreign films. It closed in the mid-1970s, probably around the time Santa Fe was starting to become too expensive for starving artists. Canyon Road, once dirt, was paved. From Googling, it looks like the old adobe home that housed it (apparently built in 1756) became Geronimo restaurant (named after the man who built it) in the early 1990s, and is still open today. What does this have to do with the cheesecake they kept in the pastry case? Very little, friends — and please correct me if this Manhattan-ite got any Santa Fe details wrong — but I can’t resist a cake with a story.

digestives!crumbscream cheese, eggs, sugarbaked, cooled

My cheesecake story is much less interesting; this site’s archives would tell you otherwise but I came late to it. My husband loves it, many of you who read this site seem to love it, and I don’t… dislike it, I just don’t need more than one or two slices a year. I find it so heavy and overly monotonous; I always wish the proportions were different, say, the same amount of buttery crust and whatever topping you wish but a thinner layer of baked cream cheese custard. It not a testament to my mental acuity that it took me this many years to figure out this was the easiest way to make it happen. As bars, the taste is less heavy, it feeds a lot more people, and it’s portable, meaning it can go anywhere you want to this weekend (your friends thank you, in advance).

berry heaven
piling on all the berries

What I’ve always loved about this cheesecake is the dead simplicity of it — 3 bricks of cream cheese, 4 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, some vanilla — and the creaminess despite the lack of sour cream or other dairy within. There no flour and no fuss. If your cream cheese is soft enough, you could whisk it entirely by hand. It’s much less sweet than most, so it doesn’t taste like, say, baked cream cheese frosting, and it’s topped with a layer of barely sugared sour cream that’s baked right onto the cake. I think it’s brilliant; it’s a harmonious accent and visually pleasing but more importantly, since I have very little patience for baking in water baths (although with bars like this, and not a potentially leaky springform, it would be as easy as it gets), this topping hides any cracks that might appear.

cheesecake bars with all the berries
cheesecake bars with all the berries

I had intended to maybe marble in a berry sauce — I think berries against cheesecake is aces — but then I went to the Greenmarket where berry season is in full swing so and everything was so pretty, I couldn’t possibly bring myself to cook them and piled them on instead. But this recipe is flexible and I think you could easily tweak it in a number of ways:
• Skipping the sour cream topping and adding a slick of whipped cream instead, although I would do this closer to serving and eating it.
• Marbling it with a raspberry or other sauce, as we did here.
• Topping it with a chocolate glaze, as we did here, or starting the bars with a chocolate base, as we did here.
• Adding the finely grated citrus zest of any kind that you like by rubbing it into the sugar before adding it to the cake.
• Marbling the top with dulce de leche before baking it.
• Using a more traditional cooked fruit topping, as we did here.

* rather the loveliest name, says someone heading to Barcelona next week, albeit with a heavier heart than anticipated 

cheesecake bars with all the berries

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layered mocha cheesecake – smitten kitchen

Prepare pans: Line two 9×13 cake pans or quarter-sheet pans (what I use) with foil. You really don’t want this foil to tear; a trick I like is to press it over the outside of the cake pan first to mold the shape of the foil. Then, when you flip it over and line the inside, it’s easier to press tightly against the walls without tearing. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan, on top of the foil, with a fitted rectangle of parchment paper. While it’s not absolutely necessary, consider it a layer of security that makes it easier to move your cheesecake layers later.

Heat oven: To 350°F.

Make wafers:

…in food processor: Combine flour, cocoa powders, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the work bowl of food processor, pulsing until mixed. Cut butter into chunks and drop into work bowl; run machine until butter disappears into mixture, which will be powdery. Add egg and vanilla and run machine until the dough begins to clump/ball together.

…with an electric mixer: Beat butter and sugar together until combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add baking powder, salt and cocoa and beat until combined. Add flour and mix just until it disappears.

Shape wafers: Roll dough between 2 large pieces of parchment paper until very, very thin and roughly the size of a half-sheet pan (13×18 inches). Slide onto board, the back of a baking sheet, or large cutting board (parchment paper and all) and place in freezer for 5 minutes, until firm. Once firm, peel back top piece of parchment paper (it should now come off cleanly, pull it back slowly), then lay it loosely back on the sheet of dough. Flip the sheet over and do the same (gently, slowly peel back the second parchment sheet) until the dough is now loose between them.

You can use the rectangles of parchment from the bottom of your baking pans to give you an idea of the sizes you’ll need for each wafer base, but you basically want to cut the sheet of dough in half. Carefully lift each dough halves into a prepared pan. Patch it where needed so that it fully covers the bottom, pressing it with your fingertips into an even layer, and out to the edges if it fell short. It’s fine if it goes up the sides a little — we’ll trim them after it bakes.

Bake wafers: For 10 minutes — they’ll be mostly, but not fully, baked. [Get started on the cheesecake batter while they bake.] Once the wafers are done, if you have any wafer edges that went up the sides of the pan, gently cut them away, which should be easy when they’re hot, but be careful not to cut through the foil. Leave oven on. Enjoy your wafer snacks.

Make cheesecake batter:

…in a food processor: (Yes, this really works.) Wipe the food processor you used for the wafer layer out so that no crumbs remain. Place sugar, then cream cheeses into the work bowl and blend until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, blending between each, then sour cream and vanilla, blending until smooth. Scrape down bowl and blend another few seconds until smooth.

… with an electric mixer: Beat cream cheese with sugar until fluffy, then beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of your bowl between each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.

Both methods: Divide cheesecake batter in half, into two bowls. On my scale, each half weighed 565 grams. (I’m sorry I didn’t measure it in cups. Next time!) Slowly drizzle melted chocolate into first half, whisking until fully smooth. Pour batter into first wafer pan — it’s totally fine if it’s still warm/hot from parbaking.

Add espresso powder and molasses (which makes the color magically coffee-like) to the second bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour second half of batter into second prepared pan.

Bake cheesecakes: Bake both pans at the same time, rotating them mid-way because few oven racks are perfectly level, for 15 to 18 minutes, until cheesecake is set but slightly jiggly.

Cool cheesecakes completely: I am always in a rush and let them rest at room temperature on a rack for 5 minutes and then put them in the freezer to quick cool (this takes 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the freezer). You can also cool it over a couple hours in the fridge.

Assemble your layered cheesecake: When cheesecakes are fully cool, carefully pull the foil sling lining the pan onto your counter, taking the cheesecake with it. Gently pull the foil away from the sides of the cheesecakes so that their sides are fully exposed. Next, you want to remove the parchment paper under your coffee cheesecake layer. Use a thin, long offset spatula to run it around under the wafer layer, making sure it isn’t sticking in any places. Slide the parchment paper out carefully. (Usually you would invert your cake layer onto a rack here to remove the parchment, but I don’t think this is a great idea with soft cheesecake!)

Here is the scariest part: Gently begin lifting your coffee cheesecake from the edges with your fingertips until you can slide both hands underneath it, palms up, fingers spread for maximum support. Give it a practice lift up a half-inch, then inch, before taking a deep breath and moving it quickly on top of your chocolate cheesecake layer. The first time, mine broke. I moved the pieces back into place. It was far from perfect but nobody could tell by the time it was assembled.

Dip a sharp serrated knife in hot water — this is the only thing that gives it a passably smooth edge, trust me — and trim the sides of the cheesecake block so that they’re even. Wipe the knife with a towel and dip it again in water between each cut — trust me. Using the same wipe-then-dip knife method every time you cut into this cheesecake, including when you serve it.

Cut your cheesecake block into 3 equal rectangles. Once you’re done trimming, your cheesecake is usually about 7×11 inches and you want to cut it along the longer side, so each third is going to be 3 2/3 inches, but I highly recommend you use a ruler and not eyeball this. Once again, use a thin spatula to carefully separate the bottom layer of the cheesecake block from its parchment paper (you haven’t done this yet for the chocolate layer) before using your hands to lift and stack thirds of the cake into a 6-layer brick-shaped cheesecake. As you’re lifting, if you notice that your cheesecake is thicker on one side than the other (this totally happens due to aforementioned uneven oven racks and is more noticeable because the cake is so thin), simply turn your layer around so that the final stack is relatively flat.

Trim the edges again if needed, so that they are smooth. To smooth them further, I found I could press a piece of parchment paper against each side and gently peel it back (see 12th photo).

To finish: (You’re at the finish line!) Melt chocolate, 3 tablespoons of the cream, and corn syrup together and then whisk until smooth. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. I’m using black cocoa here to darken the color of the glaze so it looks better with the cheesecake. You want your final glaze to be thick but pourable. Add the last tablespoon of cream if needed to achieve this. Pour over top of cheesecake and use an spatula to smooth it and also push some over the edges for a drippy effect. Finish with sprinkles and refrigerate until needed.

To serve: Once again, a wet serrated knife makes the cleanest cuts. Thin slices are best because cheesecake is so rich. Leftovers keep in the fridge almost *too* well, heh.

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marbled cheesecake hamantaschen – smitten kitchen

If you’re using a food processor or stand mixer to make the cookie dough, you can leave your butter cold. If you’re using a hand mixer, room temperature is best. For the cream cheese, room temperature is easier to mix but do know that I forget to warm it up about 100% of the time and just mash it with a fork until soft. It only takes 2 minutes. You will have a little more cream cheese filling than you need but there wasn’t a neat way to downsize it.

2/21/21 Updates: After reading how many struggled with crumbly dough, I’ve retested these a few times this weekend am adding a few notes. Biggest change: I’ve dropped the first flour amount from 2 1/4 cups to 2 cups. I think you will find these much bendier without cracking, so yours will be as perfect as the pictures here.

Heat oven: To 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make filling: In a small-medium bowl, mash cream cheese and sugar with a fork (this will be easy if room temperature and take a couple minutes longer if it’s cold, but will work either way). Add salt, vanilla, lemon juice, and egg yolk and continue to mash and blend until smooth. Transfer to refrigerator until needed.

Make dough in a food processor: Combine the sugars, salt, and 2 cups of the flour in the work bowl. Add butter and mix or pulse until it disappears, then keep running the machine until it just begins to clump. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined into one big or a few smaller masses, scraping down the bowl as needed for even blending, then keep running the machine until the dough is smooth and easily forms one big blob. This might take up to a full minute longer.

Make dough in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer: Combine butter, sugars, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until creamy. If you began with cold butter in a stand mixer, this will take a couple minutes and require you to scrape down the bowl a few times. Once mixture is thoroughly combined, add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat until it disappears, then keep mixing until the dough is smooth and easily forms one big ball; this might take up to a full minute longer. Scrape down the bowl.

All methods: Scoop half the dough into a separate bowl. You can eyeball it, or, if you have a digital scale, my dough halves weighed 308 grams each [new weight based on lower flour amount]. Add remaining 1/3 cup flour to one half of the dough, and 1/3 cup cocoa powder to the second half, mixing until blended. Once again, run the mixer or machine until the dough is no longer crumbly and is in one big mound; this can take 30 to 60 seconds longer. [If using a FP or stand mixer, I mix flour in the half that’s still in the bowl of the machine, scoop it out, add the second half of dough to the machine and blend in the cocoa.]

Marble your dough: Place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter. Spoon little dollops of chocolate and vanilla doughs all over, alternating dollops a little but no need to be very checkerboarded about it. Use an offset spatula, bench scraper, or even a spoon to smoosh and mush some of the pieces together, creating areas that are more blended and leaving some unblended.

Roll dough out: Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll doughs out into an even 1/8-inch thick slab. If you started with cold butter, the dough will probably be solid enough right now to skip it. If it feels very mushy/warm, however, slide the onto the back of a large baking sheet and pop into the freezer (or, uh, outside if it’s cold but not snowing where you are) for 3 minutes. We do not want the dough to be hard, just somewhat firmed up but still very bendy.

Form shapes: Return the dough slab to your counter. Carefully peel the parchment sheet off the top and replace it. (This loosens it.) Flip slab over onto the loosened side and remove the top parchment sheet entirely. Use this to line a large baking sheet.

Cut dough into 3-inch rounds. Place a measured 1-teaspoon dollop of cream cheese filling in the center of each. Fold up the edges in 3 sections and pinch the corners closed and [updated to add] continue to pinch/”zip up” the cooking, pinching it closed, until only a marble-to-quarter-sized opening remains. Don’t worry if the center looks underfilled; the cream cheese expands in the oven. Transfer each to the parchment-lined baking sheet. These do not spread, so you can fit them fairly close together on the tray — i.e. 1-2 inches apart.

To reroll scraps, pile them in the center of the piece of parchment paper and place a second sheet on top again. Repeat the process of rolling the dough thin, briefly cooling it, loosening the back, and cutting it into circles until all the dough and about 2/3 the filling is used.

Bake hamantaschen: For 20 to 25 minutes, until pale parts of dough are golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack.

Store: Hamantaschen keep in fridge for up to one week.

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