#Baketogether Cheesecake

Post image for #Baketogether Cheesecake

by Abby Dodge on February 1, 2012

I’ve been dreaming (and talking) about this #baketogether subject for months and I am so happy it’s finally February and I can post Cheesecake ~Your Way.

I’m expecting big twists from everyone for this month’s recipe. Hey, no pressure but .. I know cheesecake devotees are a loyal, opinionated and vocal group and the mere mention of cheesecake will immediately elicit as many opinions as there are voices. You know who you are. Some like their cheesecake filling dense, sweet and rich; some like it fluffy, tangy and light and still others prefer an Italian –style ricotta filling and that doesn’t begin to cover the zillions of different filling flavors, shapes, crusts, sizes, toppings and combinations there are to choose from. The beauty of my version of the classic is it’s chameleon-like personality – one recipe can take on the attributes of everyone’s personal favorites making it, perhaps, the perfect #baketogether recipe.

Let’s start with a quick rundown about this recipe:

This cheesecake consists of two, simple to prepare elements – crust and filling – making it a perfect recipe for all skill levels including newbie bakers.
⁃    The crumb crust can be made from any type of crisp cookie. Grahams, gingersnap and chocolate cookies are the norm but most markets and gourmet shops offer a wide variety so feel free to experiment. You’ll need a 9-inch springform pan. If you k=don’t have one, well, I think you should. The only skill needed  here is to press the crumbs into the pan with just your fingers, plastic wrap and a flat-bottomed mug or measuring cup.

⁃    The filling is just as easy but there are a few tricks to making a luscious filling that bakes without cracking. First off, for a smooth filling, be sure to start with fresh (not old and expired), softened cream cheese and beat it, scraping down the sides and beater frequently, until no lumps remain. Once you start adding other ingredients, it is difficult to get rid of those pesky lumps without overworking your filling which can cause it to over puff and crack during baking and cooling (not good). Also, be sure to follow the doneness test and remove the cake when it wiggles like jello when nudged, the edges are puffed and the center still looks wet. The cake will continue to cook as it cools.

⁃    For BIG vanilla flavor, I use vanilla beans to flavor the filling. If you don’t want to fuss with scraping the seeds from the bean but you still want those pretty little seeds, you can use vanilla bean paste.Or, of course, you can just use pure vanilla extract.

OK..  how about a few suggestions for making this recipe your own:
⁃    Change the shape: Make it bigger or smaller. Make it a tart  (I think I will) or Bars or Minis or how about a V-Day cheesecake for two.
⁃    Change the filling: Swap out the sour cream and add just about the same amount of of the ingredients like dulce de leche, pumpkin, peanut butter, ricotta, fruit puree or chocolate
⁃    Add more flavors: Match citrus; espresso powder; booze; ground spices with your filling to take it to the next level
⁃    Add a topping: This can add complexity to the cake as well as some high-wattage star power to the cake’s presentation. Anything from caramel /chocolate sauce to sweetened crème fraiche or fresh fruit to a bruleed sugar crust. Remember, this is the icing on your cake.

Here at #baketogether, we love all shapes and flavors equally so put on your thinking caps and start planing Cheesecake ~Your Way right now. If you need further guidance or inspiration, give me a holler or check out the options for a similar cheesecake I did for Fine Cooking a few years back.

xx A

A few #Baketogether reminders:

  • Use this recipe as your starting point and twist and turn it anyway you’d like.
  • In your post, link back to my original recipe & invite your readers to join our #baketogether – the more the merrier!
  • Post your version & pix on your blog, Twitter & Instagram and FB pages by Feb 29 (or there abouts)  so we can all see your version.
  • Tweet & post  Loud & Proud and we will all join in to share your wonderfulness with our readers, friends and followers.
  • Leave me a comment so I know you’ve posted & don’t forget to use the linky thingy to add your post (below) for the round up.
  • If you don’t have a blog, you can still join in the fun. Email me a pic & your switch-ins and I’ll add ‘em to the post.

Lastly..

A couple of pix to help:

Line the bottom of the springform pan and clasp the outer ring onto the bottom, leaving the excess foil on the outside. This will come in handy for moving the cheesecake from the pan to a serving plate.

Cover the crumbs with plastic wrap and use your finger to press the crumbs to the sides of the pan. The plastic keeps the crumbs in the pan and off your fingers.

Use a flat bottomed measuring cup to press the crumbs onto the bottom and edges of the pan — still using the plastic:

And cheesecake on a serving plate:

 



{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana B February 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

yum!! this is going to be fun! All sorts of variations popped in my head the moment I started reading your post :)

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Abby Dodge February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Delighted that the recipe has sparked your imagination!

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Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} February 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

my favorite dessert is chocolate cheesecake. Love this challenge. it’s gonna be so much fun!

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Abby Dodge February 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Yum.. I’m crazy about chocolate cheesecake.. can’t wait to check out your twists.

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Deepti Bhogle February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I am so making this one..since I moved from NY to San Diego, I miss my favorite version of the cheesecake..and I am going to recreate it! Thanks Abby for choosing it!

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Abby Dodge February 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Glad you approve! Looking forward to seeing your version of this c’cake

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen February 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Believe it or not, I’m not a huge cheesecake fan. However, it’s my husbands favorite dessert. I’ll be anxious to tailor this recipe to meet some of his favorite flavors! Gee, I wonder how beer flavored cheesecake would be? Just kidding…I think ;)

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Abby Dodge February 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Now THAT would be interesting! I’m not feeding a crowd anytime soon so I’m going to make a nutella cheesecake tart or maybe minis with a choco cookie crust and will post before V-Day. #waistline

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Barbara | Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm

You know…there is nothing wrong with a savory cheesecake Renee. I think it sounds great actually.

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abby dodge February 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I agree with Barb! Savory cheesecakes are delish.. consider salmon & dill or a basil/parm version a la pesto and use a nut/bread crumb crust. Oh and don’t forget that you can cut this recipe in half or even more if you like. It makes a great tart, too

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Kristina~Former Chef February 7, 2012 at 9:12 am

Thanks for the fun round-up. I really like your tip about pressing the crust in with plastic wrap and a flat bottomed cup.

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Abby Dodge February 7, 2012 at 9:19 am

thanks. The plastic wrap keeps the crumbs in the pan and not on your fingers – sounds like an M & M slogan, doesn’t it?

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Lisa @ Dust with Flour February 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I have never before in my life made a cheesecake. It’s about time. Thank you for organizing us once again! Now to put on my thinking/baking cap.

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abby dodge February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Looking forward to seeing what your very creative mind comes up with!

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Hanaa February 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Oh boy, this is soooo tempting. Have been wanting to make a Dulce de Leche-flavored cheesecake since forever but haven’t done it yet.

Also wanted to congratulate you. I got an email from Cookstr today and your Raspberry White Choc Tart was featured in there :)

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Laura @MotherWouldKnow February 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Just realized that I made quiche this morning (for dinner) and cheesecake tartlets for my #baketogether this afternoon. I know the cheesecakes will need to cool, and will last in the fridge for a couple of days, but my own absent-mindedness still makes me laugh. Must have had dairy-on-the-brain.

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Abby Dodge February 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

All Dairy All The Time! Sounds good to me. But, yes.. cheesecake is a wonderful “make ahead”.

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Laura @MotherWouldKnow February 11, 2012 at 11:51 am

OMG, they are so good. I’m hoping to keep 2 intact until Valentine’s Day, but that may be unrealistic unless I hide them.

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Karen Harris February 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

I had so much fun with this #Baketogether. My friends and family thank you too!

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Abby Dodge February 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I’m so happy you enjoyed this month’s #baketogether ! I’m really enjoying seeing all the variations.

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Suzanne February 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

Just posted my recipe for Lemon Saffron Cheesecake with Pistachio,Wholemeal cardamom crust!

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han_dan February 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for this! I found you through tastespotting.com and attempted my first ever cheesecake yesterday. Its been a big hit so now I’m toying with your recipe for an amaretto strawberry cheesecake. Thus far:

Crust–I drizzled some honey onto the butter before melting and threw in a dash of ground cloves and ground nutmeg with the graham crackers.

Filling-I’ll be substituting the vanilla with amaretto and then adding in 1/4-3/4 cup of strawberry jam (I bought it on a whim, discovered I don’t like jam, and hope it will suffice here instead). Clearly still in process…

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Abby Dodge February 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Awesome.. so glad you found me and #baketogether. I’m thrilled that your are experimenting! The crust options sounds very flavorful as does the filling. You might consider substituting the jam for the sour cream (because it would act as a liquid type of ingredient) as well as dropping the sugar amount down just a bit to compensate for the jam’s sweetness. Keep me posted!

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han_dan February 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Okay, to finish:

Filling–1/2 cup ish of strawberry jam, 5 teaspoons of amaretto (I have a serious sweet tooth). I took some of the extra jam and drizzled it on the top before I tossed it in the oven.

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Abby Dodge February 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Oh My goodness.. sounds wonderful.. Can’t wait to hear how it tastes.

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen February 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

Here is my completed post for #baketogether Cheesecake ~ Your way

I decided upon “Malted Milk Ball Cheesecake” :)

http://kudoskitchenbyrenee.blogspot.com/2012/02/malted-milk-ball-cheesecake.html

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Michelle Jaffee February 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm

This is my entry for #baketogether: Lemon Luvahs Cheesecake
This was so much fun. Thanks, Abby!
http://mysweetandsimpleblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/lemon-luvahs-cheesecake-baketogether.html

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Michelle Jaffee February 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Oopsie! My first link was incorrect… I uploaded it again. O_o

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Jody Hulber February 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I almost needed “leap day” to get my cheesecake in, but here it is: Raspberry Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. Loved seeing everyone’s cheesecake, can’t wait ’till March! Thanks Abby… soooo much fun! Just in time for the Academy Awards tonight… Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up (I’m uploading from FB, hope this works):
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2593948182596.94194.1671427742&type=3

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Lisa | Dust with Flour February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

And one more addition to our cheesecake party, a savory version with goat cheese and gremolata.
http://dustwithflour.blogspot.com/2012/02/savory-cheesecake-with-chevre-and.html

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Georgie February 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I had so much fun making my cheesecake. I ran into a few issues trying to create a no bake but in the end with your help Abby, I made this great Pear & Ginger Infused cheesecake. I love the #baktogether community – I’m becoming a better baker and taking more chances. http://wp.me/psB27-U3

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Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) March 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

Gorgeous lot Abby! I’m running late in 2012. Hope I can catch the March baketogether!

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