Spice up a Basic Cheesecake Recipe
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, and has a reputation as being notoriously difficult to make.† My husband purchased a recipe book for my called The Cheesecake Bibleî which seemed like it must be pretty good (people donít throw around ìBibleî haphazardly, do they?† Maybe they do). While you have to have a cheesecake pan, of course, you donít necessarily need the stand mixer or even a tool to help you make the crust (you can hand crush the graham crackers for the crust). Once I worked through a few of those recipes, with varying degrees of success, I realized why. There is a pretty narrow ìsweet spotî to making perfect cheesecake.† Take the cake out too early, and it will never set.† Leave it in too long, or cool it improperly, and it could have huge cracks on top. Now, some recipe books will tell to just cover the cracks with toppings, but that never worked for me, because I knew they were there even if no one else did.
Perfect One Recipe
There are so many varieties of cheesecake to make, that it can be overwhelming, but I finally decided that I needed to pick one basic cheesecake recipe and bake it over and over until I knew I could hit that sweet spot every time. It takes experience to be able to look at your cheesecake and know just when to take it out, and this can be affected by your ingredients, the humidity, and whatever else, so that there isn’t always an exact amount of time to leave it in the oven.In fact, my oven time sometimes varied by as much as 50% of what was listed in the recipe book. Who knows!?! Maybe my oven wasn’t as hot, even though I use an oven thermometer.
I know making the same basic cheesecake recipe over and over again sounds a little boring, but I guarantee it will make your efforts to expand forward to more challenging recipes with different ingredients more successful. In the meantime, here are some easy things that you can do to spice up your basic cheesecake recipe so it has some variation without affecting the filling.
Try New Crusts
The first thing you can do is experiment with the cheesecake crust. This is very easy to do with almost any basic food processor. Examples of crust ingredients are graham crackers (of course), chocolate cookies, butter cookies, nutter butters (for a peanut butter crust), vanilla wafers, and even gingerbread cookies. Most crusts are just a combination of cookies and butter, but I have seen some crust recipes that add a bit of seasoning or sugar. Flex your creative juices here, and that can make your cake unique.
The second way you can make your basic cheesecake stand out is by adding a variety of toppings. Whipped cream is always a popular one, so try making it from hand instead of buying it at the store or try a cream cheese whipped topping. There are also a variety of fruit toppings you can try, like raspberry, blueberry and strawberry. If you are a chocolate fan, experiment with making a truffle fudge topping. With a great crust and a tasty topping, that basic cheesecake recipe that you’ve perfected won’t seem so basic at all!…