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Valentine's (really, any day!) Cheescake



 

Strawberry Cheesecake

Makes 1 9 or 10 inch cheesecake


3 pounds(1350g) cream cheese

2 cups(400g) granulated sugar

6 large eggs

1 cup strawberry puree (200g)

1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract

Graham cracker crust (recipe below)

1 pint strawberries for garnish, sliced in half

White Chocolate Curls for garnish


Lower oven to 325F (165C)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese on low speed until softened, scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar and continue mixing on low and scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until there are no visible lumps. Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Stir in strawberry puree and vanilla extract. Place the springform pan on a double layer large piece of aluminum foil (you will need a wide roll of foil for this) and fold the foil to come up the sides of the pan, almost to the top, without allowing the foil to be on the inside of the pan. Place the springform pan on a baking tray with edges or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan). Pour batter over crust, spread the batter with a small offset spatula to level batter. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sides of the pan). Bake for about 1 hour, until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (about the size of a quarter). Remove from oven and remove cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely).

To unmold the cheesecake:

Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Graham Cracker Crusts

As an alternative to baking the graham cracker crusts, you can place the crumbs pressed into the spring form pan in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Then use it as you would for a baked crust.

For the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan


1 3/4 cups (205g) finely ground graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons (26g) granulated sugar

8 tablespoons(112g) butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350℉(180℃)

In a medium bowl combine ground crackers and sugar. Add in butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine, making sure all the butter is absorbed.

Place all the graham crackers on the bottom of a 10-inch (25cm) spring form pan and press the crumbs firmly to the bottom of the pan using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass. Place the pan in the oven and bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until slightly firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.






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