Monday, February 27, 2012
Cheesecake... 3 different toppings
If you love to customize your dessert with a variety of choices than this cheesecake is for you. In my family we like choices, and I must admit we rarely all eat the same thing, for dessert at least. Making a delicious basic cheesecake, then topping it with the delicious flavor of your choice is a great way to enjoy the end of a family meal or any special occasion.
First let's start with the cheesecake. Usually I will make the crust the same way I do for my Pumpkin Pie. It's simple. The only difference is you will need 9" spring form pan for this cheesecake.
Gluten Free Crust Ingredients:
1 pkg gluten free ginger snaps
2 Tbsp of butter or margarine
Crust Directions: In a food processor pulse the cookies until they are crumbs. Add softened or melted butter. Pulse. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Using your hands or the bottom of a glass, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a oiled spring form pan.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
2 pounds softened cream cheese (4 8-ounce packages)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Directions: I like to make this cheesecake batter using a stand mixer. First start with the cream cheese and sugar. On a medium speed, beat these together until fully incorporated...a couple of minutes. Add the eggs and mix one at a time. Add the sour cream and mix. While the mixer is running sprinkle in the cornstarch and add the vanilla and lemon juice.
Next preheat the oven to 325. Pour the batter over your prepared crust in the spring form pan. Wrap the bottom of the outside of the pan with tinfoil to prevent any leaking. Place a shallow baking dish filled half with hot water in the oven on the lower rack. Place cheesecake in the oven above the baking dish on the upper rack. Bake for 1 hour. Then turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 additional hour. Remove and Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
The three sauces:
For this occasion we had three options for sauce toppings for the individual slices of cheesecake. Strawberry, blueberry, and chocolate. If you are using this idea for a special occasion such as a holiday or birthday, take time to set out the sauce options in some pretty dishes, you can also have fresh strawberries, chocolate chips, or even whip cream to take it over the top.
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium high heat simmer strawberries, sugar, and a little bit of water - just enough to wet the sugar. Cook until strawberries break apart, about 10 minutes. In a cup mix cornstarch with a small amount of water and add to simmering sauce. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Transfer to a small serving dish.
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium high heat simmer blueberries, sugar, and a little bit of water - just enough to wet the sugar. Cook until some blueberries break apart, about 10 minutes. In a cup mix cornstarch with a small amount of water and add to simmering sauce. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Transfer to a small serving dish.
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heaving whipping cream
Heat the cream until steamy. In a small mixing bowl pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Let it sit for a minute, then mix thoroughly until all the chips are melted into a sauce.
To get even slices out of your cheesecake use a long bread knife. Be sure to have a paper towel on hand and clean the knife in between each slice. The leftover crumbs on the knife mess up the sides of the next slice. If your cheesecake is particularly sticky wetting the knife will help.