July 14, 2010

Sweets: Birthday Strawberry Cheesecake

My younger cousin turned 16 years old last month and I wanted to bake her something special.  I decided to make her cheesecake since I had previously baked one and she loved it.  I took one of my favorite cheesecake recipes and added my own touch to it.

Strawberry Cheesecake
Adapted from Allrecipes


·      15 graham crackers, crushed (I used my blender to crush them a little bit at a time.)
·      2 tablespoons butter, melted


·      4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (Make sure it's soft when you're going to make it.)
·      1 1/2 cups white sugar
·      3/4 cup milk
·      4 eggs
·      1 cup sour cream
·      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
·      1/4 cup all-purpose flour


Make sure ingredients are at room temperature because you'll save yourself some time and the cheesecake will turn out better. 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Double wrap pan with aluminum foil so that no water gets in. 

2.   In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan. (I add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar to make a tastier crust.)

3.   In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. (Keep in mind what I previously suggested.  Make sure ingredients are at room temperature or at least soft.) Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

4.   Place foiled springform pan into a bain-marie (I use an inch cookie pan and fill it with about 1/2 an inch of warm water.  It's important to double wrap the pan so you don't get water into the cheesecake.  If water does get in don't worry you'll learn from your mistakes.  Well, at least I learned from them.)

5.    Place bain-marie and pan into the oven.

6.   Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. (I know it might be tempting for you to open the door but trust me don't do it.  The cooling process is just as important as the baking process.) Chill in refrigerator until serving.

7.   Optional: Decorate with fresh strawberries or drizzle chocolate on top.  The possibilities are endless.

For my cousin's cheesecake I decided to make a strawberry sauce and mixed it between the layers to add more character to it.  I made the sauce with strawberries, corn starch, lemon juice and sugar.  I let it simmer down and cool before I added it to the cheesecake and swirled it around a bit before adding the rest.  

It takes a long time to make cheesecake but it is worth all the time and effort. Everyone raved on about the cheesecake and my cousin enjoyed my present. 

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