Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cheesy Indulgence

I finally took out my mini cheesecake trays that I bought months back to use. It was New York Cheesecake and I should have halved my recipe but I got a little greedy.
New York-style cheesecake, made famous by Lindy's and Junior's Deli, relies upon cream, cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. Also called Jewish-style, it is baked in a special 5- to 6-inch tall springform pan in many restaurants.
I like my cheesecakes petite and 5 blocks of Philly Cream Cheese (2.5 Kg) was 3 blocks too many. Boy! did I get lots of cheesecakes. Apart from the 24 mini cheesecakes, I had a 8 inch dish and 3 other minis which I threw into little disposable bake tins.

1 1/2 cups (5 oz) finely ground graham crackers or cookies such as chocolate or vanilla wafers or gingersnaps
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

ingredients5 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

preparationMake crumb crust as directed in separate recipe. Preheat oven to 200°C.
Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour, and zests with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust (springform pan will be completely full) and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 12 minutes, or until puffed. Reduce temperature to 100°F and continue baking until cake is mostly firm (center will still be slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour more.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on a rack. Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Note: Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.

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