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Make Cheesecake the Star of Your Dessert Table

Cheesecake can be the star of the dessert table when you make it yourself. Sure you can buy one at the supermarket, but with a little time and effort, you can make your own which will be much better than what you will purchase.

 

Make Cheesecake the Star of Your Dessert Table

           

Cheesecake can be the star of the dessert table, when you make it yourself. Sure you can buy one at the supermarket, but with a little time and effort you can make your own which will be so much better than what you will purchase.  

            For those who love cheesecake you know the rich, creamy, satin smooth texture practically melts in your mouth. No wonder it is one of the best-loved desserts.

Combine time and patience and you will bake a cheesecake that will have everyone asking for your recipe.

            A top priority of making cheesecake is preparation. All ingredients should be at room temperature. They will mix easier, and the finished cake will have a smoother texture.

            Begin by combining the cream cheese or ricotta and eggs thoroughly before adding any liquid extracts, heavy cream or sour cream. Once the liquid ingredients, which thin the batter, are added, lumps are almost impossible to remove.

            The paddle attachment of an electric mixer is ideal for mixing the batter. If you do not have a paddle attachment, use regular beaters at low or medium-low speeds. Be careful to not mix too much air into the batter. This causes cracks and a cake that is less creamy.

            One of the most important ingredients in most cheesecakes is the cream cheese.  Always use regular cream cheese for cheesecakes, unless the recipe specifies otherwise.

            Just as important as the cream cheese is the base or crust. Usually, the base is made of a mixture of cookie crumbs and softened or melted butter or margarine. Although many recipes call for graham cracker crumbs, almost any cookie will do.

            To easily crush the cookies, either grind them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade or place them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

            Now that you have your filling ready and your crust, what’s next? With a spoon or rubber spatula, spoon the filling into the prepared spring form pan. Spooning the filling will allow the ingredients to maintain their texture and volume.

If you follow the recipe perfectly, there are times when cracks will still appear in your cheesecake. If this happens, don’t fear. Just add a topping to it and you will be the only one who knows. 

Extreme temperature changes can lead to surface cracks. Observe the low baking temperature and once done, allow the cheesecake to set in the oven with the door slightly ajar for an hour, or on the counter in a draft free place. 

            Let cheesecake be the star of your Christmas table this year. You can contact me at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in the Miller County Courthouse, call 870-779-3609, or e-mail me at Chaley@uaex.edu. Be sure to follow me on facebook.com/MillerCountyFCS or Twitter @MillerCountyFCS

            This is one of my favorite cheesecakes. It is so good you need to make two.

Scrumptious Turtle Cheesecake

 

One and three fourth cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs

One third cup butter or margarine, melted

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

One half cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

One and one half cup (9 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons chocolate flavor syrup

4 tablespoons caramel syrup or ice cream topping

One half cup chopped pecans

One fourth cup mini semi-sweet mini morsels

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease 9 inch springform pan. To make the crust, mix crumbs and butter in a medium bowl. Press on to the bottom and 1 inch up the side of the springform pan.

 

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract, beat just until combined. Melt chocolate chips in microwave until melted.  Chips may retain some of their shape.  Remove two cups of the cheesecake batter and stir it into the melted chocolate chips.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the caramel syrup over bottom of the crust. Alternately spoon cream cheese batter and chocolate batter into the crust, beginning and ending with the cream cheese batter.

 

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the edge is set and the center moves slightly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, or in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Run knife around the edge of cheesecake. Once completely cooled, add your toppings. Drizzle chocolate and caramel syrup over the cheesecake. Sprinkle with pecans and mini-chocolate chips.  Refrigerate overnight or for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together. Remove the side of the springform pan.

By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
chadley@uaex.edu

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