The Eat Food NOT Money Cookbook

Simple cheesecake

I thought I’d post a cheesecake recipe today since I posted tips on successful cheesecakes yesterday. I realized I have MOST my price list right here on my cookbook (duh Kathy…I know). Be sure to use the tips I gave yesterday to ensure this cheesecake is creamy.

What you’ll need:

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbl. butter
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter and press into a 9″ pan (you can use a springform pan or a pie plate); set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the egg yolks and set them aside; allow the egg whites to come to room temperature while mixing the remaining ingredients. Beat the cream cheese well. Add the milk, beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt and extracts; mixing well after each addition. Beat the egg white until stiff and gently fold into cheese mixture. Pour into pan and bake 45 minutes. Makes 1 cheesecake.

Cost:
graham crackers – $1.09
butter – $1.79/lb
sugar – $1.99/4 lb bag
milk – $3.99/gallon
cream cheese – $2.06
eggs – $1.09/dozen
vanilla extract – $2.25
lemon extract – $2.25
Total – $4.13

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August 27, 2009 Posted by | -cheesecake, DELICIOUS DESSERTS | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for successful cheesecakes

Life is too short to not eat cheesecake. Here’s how to produce perfect results every time.

Preparation

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. This makes them mix easier and the finished cake has a smoother texture.

Combine cream cheese or ricotta cheese with the eggs thoroughly BEFORE adding any liquid extracts, heavy cream or sour cream. You cannot remove lumps after the liquids have thinned the batter.

A paddle attachment on a stand mixer is ideal. Regular beaters add too much air and that can lead to cracks in the finished cheesecake. It also makes your cheesecake less creamy. If you have to use beaters, mix on low speed so a minimum amount of air is added.

Fold in whipped cream or beaten egg whites with a whisk or rubber spatula gently and slowly to not deflate whipped ingredients.

Always use regular cream cheese for cheesecakes unless the recipe specifically calls for a different variety.

Almost any cookie (including cream filled sandwich cookies) make a good base. To crush, grind them in a food processor with a metal blade or place them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Always have cracks in your cheesecake?

Steam and extreme temperatures cause cracks in cheesecakes. To minimize them bake at low temperatures and don’t open the oven while baking. Cool them away from cold or drafty places. If possible, cool in a turned off oven using a wooden spoon to keep the door slightly ajar.

Deep cracks mean that the egg white structure collapsed and your cheesecake will be more like pudding. This can be avoided by mixing your ingredients slowly and gently.

Shallow cracks occur often and should be accepted. You can frost the top of your cheesecake or cover it with fruit if the appearance bothers you.

Step by step guide for making perfect cheesecake

1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10″ springform pan. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides. In warm weather, refrigerate the prepared pan until you’re ready to use it.

2. Using a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth before adding any other ingredients.

3. From beginning to end, stop the mixer several times and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to ensure there are no lumps.

4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and set it on a baking sheet. Bake as directed in the recipe you are following. You can cover it loosely with foil partway through if the top is browning too quickly.

5. Your finished cheesecake should have a dull, not shiny, finish. The center should be soft but not wobble when you shake it.

6. When the cheesecake is COMPLETELY cooled, run a knife around the sides to loosen it.

7. Release the spring and remove the sides of the pan. Leave the cheesecake on the pan bottom to serve.

8. Top with fresh fruit, sour cream, chocolate or leave it plain.

A serving of creamy cheesecake is one of life’s little pleasures ♥

August 26, 2009 Posted by | -cheesecake, -how to..., DELICIOUS DESSERTS, TIPS | | 1 Comment

New York cheesecake

I’ve posted several cheesecake recipes already but this is my personal favorite. I like it plain. Just the cheesecake and me. This recipe makes 16 servings so it’s great for parties too.

What you’ll need:

6 graham crackers, crushed
1 c + 3 Tbl sugar, divided
3 Tbl butter, melted
5 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 Tbl flour
1 Tbl vanilla
1 c sour cream
1 can cherry pie filling (if desired)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 3 Tbl sugar and butter and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until blended. Add sour cream and mix some more. Add the egg one at a time, mixing on low speed until blended. Pour over crust. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Using the foil to lift the cheesecake, remove from pan and place on individual plates or one large plate. Top with pie filling if desired.

Cost:
graham crackers – $1.09
sugar – $1.99/4 lb bag
butter – $1.75/pound
cream cheese – $2.06
flour – $2.12/5 pound bag
vanilla – $2.25
sour cream – $0.99
pie filling – $1.99
Total – $14.17

December 14, 2008 Posted by | -cheesecake, -party ideas, DELICIOUS DESSERTS | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment