Tag Archives: food processor

Unbelievable Cheesecake Update!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Unbelievable CheesecakeI originally posted this Unbelievable Cheesecake in 2013.  However, on this, my last regular appearance on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis, I chose to update it using the food processor.  In doing so, this is the fastest and easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made.

This is the easiest of all cheesecakes to make – five ingredients and you’re good to go (I don’t count water as an ingredient, if you do it’s  six). When I first stumbled across this recipe, it called for baking it overnight. I did and I ended up with a large off white hockey puck.

This unbelievable cheesecake requires no crust, no water bath and can be put together in a matter of ten to fifteen minutes from gathering the ingredients to pouring it in the pan. A 2 1/2 hour slow bake insures a perfectly smooth, creamy, delightful cheesecake with no cracks ready to serve plain or with a sauce.

While a springmold pan can be used, my preference is a cheesecake pan. This pan can be seen here.

I prefer to make this in the processor as opposed to the mixer but I have included instructions for both. It is far easier to get a completely smooth, lump free cheesecake with the processor but either machine will yield a wonderful cheesecake so don’t hesitate to use what you have.

Cheesecake
3 to 4 tablespoons graham or cookie crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, regular or 1/3 less fat, room temperature (910 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
5 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

Spray a 9 inch cheesecake or springform pan with cooking spray. Add the crumbs and shake the pan to dust it with the crumbs on the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up the side. Remove the excess and set the pan aside. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Processor Method
Place half the cream cheese in the processor and process until it is smooth. Add the remainder of the cream cheese and the sugar, processing until completely smooth. Scrape down several times to make sure there are no lumps hiding. Add the eggs, process and scrape down. Add the vanilla and water. Process to make sure it is smooth.

Pour it into the prepared pan and continue to baking.

Mixer Method
In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom often to prevent lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down every two eggs. Add the vanilla and water and beat to just combine. You do not want to incorporate air at this point. That’s it!!! Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven.

Baking
Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the cheesecake does not “jiggle” in the middle. It will be very lightly browned. Cool in the pan and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

To remove from the pan easily, heat the sides with a hair dryer set on high. If using a cheesecake pan, place it on top of a wide can and slide the bottom down. If using a springform pan, release the side of the pan. Using a straight, metal spatula, loosen the bottom by slipping the spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan. Using two pancake turners, one on each side of the cake, lift the cheesecake onto a serving plate. If using a springform pan, you cannot loosen the bottom because of the lip. However, the cheesecake should be firm enough to lift off using the pancake turners.

Note: This cheesecake freezes well if you wish to make it ahead.

Brandied Cranberry Sauce –  I realized that the cheesecake would benefit from a sauce.  Looking around I had a package of cranberries in the freezer so I quickly made this sauce.  I did not write down the amounts but these are as I remember them.  Cranberries have an enormous amount of pectin which is why there is no thickener used.
12 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over (340 grams)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup sugar (250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy

Combine all of the ingredients except the brandy in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Cover directly with film and allow to cool. Refrigerate.

To use: Heat slightly if necessary to loosen if too thick.

Goat Cheese Pesto Tart

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotAt the retail shop, the clientele loved this Goat Cheese Pesto Tart.  It is the perfect example of a savory tart and we did many of them.  This Goat Cheese Pesto Tart came from my love of peppers and basil – in this case,  pesto. While I appreciate goat cheese, I find it very astringent and usually cut it with cream cheese to mellow it out as I have done here.  I used this filling for small crostadas which we used as appetizers. We crossed slivers of red and yellow pepper on the top and they made a dazzling display on a tray when passed.  They can be made, as can the tart, ahead and frozen.

For the crostadas, I would freeze them without the peppers on top, adding them after they had been reheated.  I particularly like to use this filling for the crostadas as it didn’t lose it shape when heated.  We would pipe it on with a large star tip. Continue reading

Baking Basics – Equipment

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

These three pieces of equipment on Baking Basics were must haves at the bakery and are in my home kitchen.

MixerMixer – Today there are so many brands of really good mixers on the market.  When I was learning to bake the only stand mixers was the KitchenAid. They were mini professional machines and I first saw one on Julia Child’s, “The French Chef”.  It took me forever to track it down because the only stand mixer available had two beaters used in tandem for everything.  I was awed by the paddle, whisk and dough hook as well as the 5 quart bowl of the Kitchen Aid.  I know there were others all over America looking for this mixer.  When I finally found it, I couldn’t afford it.  So I bided my time until I finally got one and treasured it all the more.  My first one was, are you ready for this?  Harvest Gold!  It was as bad a color as it sounds.  Looking back, I wonder what we all found so attractive about this color.  My current cream color machine has been with me since I wrote my first book, “The New Pastry Cook” in 1985.   The other thing I love about this mixer, is it’s very long life. Continue reading