I tend to avoid baking because I learned long ago that I have an uncanny ability to ruin most baked goods, including Pillsbury sugar cookies that you just slice and put on a baking sheet (even though nothing could possibly be easier than that), but my husband really likes sweets. One of his favourites is cheesecake. I found what looked like a relatively straightforward recipe on Ricardo Larrivee's website for a New York-style cheesecake with strawberries and strawberry glaze on top, so we decided to try to make it together.
It was a fun project. The preparation took longer than I would have liked - probably just over an hour - but I think that was because it was our first time trying the recipe because we don't have an actual food processor, but just a hand blender with a food processor attachment which has a much smaller capacity. If we'd had a food processor, we could have tossed all of the ingredients in at once, rather than mixing things up in batches.
We ended up with a good-sized cheesecake that, days later, we still haven't finished (but not for lack of trying). It came out looking very pretty, and it was delicious. It was easy, so the next time we have people over, we'll be able to prepare an impressive dessert for them - and hopefully we'll be faster at it next time!
Ingredients for crust:
- 1 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
- 4-250g packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup of 35% cream
- 1 tablespoon of real vanilla extract
Ingredients for strawberry topping:
- 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin
- 1 tablespoon of cold water
- 4 cups of strawberries, tops trimmed
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in aluminum foil so that it is watertight because you will be baking the cheesecake in a water bath.
To make the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Press the mixture into the springform pan and then bake it for about 10 minutes until it is nicely browned. Set it aside to cool.
Add the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream and vanilla extract to a food processor and mix until smooth. Pour it into the springform pan on top of the crust. Put the springform pan into a big baking dish, and then pour boiling water into the baking dish until it is about halfway full. Put the water bath in the oven and bake for about an hour, until the edges of the cheesecake are firm but the middle still jiggles when the springform pan is shaken. Remove the water bath from the oven, remove the cake and let it cool a bit, then remove the rim of the springform pan. Refrigerate the cake for about four hours until it is completely cooled.
Don't make the syrup until the cake is cool enough for you to put the topping on. To make the topping, let the gelatin soften in the cold water for a few minutes. Quarter a 1/2 cup of the strawberries and heat them in a pot with the sugar and lemon juice until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for five minutes. Remove the strawberries and stir in the gelatin. Cool the syrup in the fridge until it is thickened (but not so long that it turns into jelly - that was my first rookie mistake).
Use the rest of the whole strawberries to top the cake. You can either brush the strawberries with the gelatin mixture, or if you'd like more glaze on top of the cake, do what I did and just pour it on. Be careful that it's not too warm, otherwise the syrup will just run everywhere (that was my second rookie mistake).
Now take pictures of your beautiful cake to show off to friends and family - and then devour it, because it's delicious!
I shared this on the Muffin Top Blog Hop on Deelicious Sweets!