Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Cheesecake. The unhealthiest dessert ever. But when made properly a nice light, refreshing cheesecake is so delicious that it is worth making every so often. I've made cheesecakes before, of course, both my own recipes and following other recipes. I decided, however, to try Thomas Keller's cheesecake from Ad Hoc At Home to see where it measured on the cheesecake-meter. It was a delicious and classic cheesecake recipe that my entire family enjoyed at our family mother's day brunch. The hint of lemon is subtle and delicious while the mixture of cream cheese and mascarpone is just perfect for a light and airy cake on a graham cracker crust. I should add, as Keller does that you should not make any substitutions to reduce the fat content. It's a nice once a year treat, but you will not do it justice if you use lowfat products instead of the real deal with this recipe. Yes, it's not so great for you, but it's okay for the occasional indulgence!
Ad Hoc At Home Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 T granulated sugar
5 T unsalted butter, melted
1 lb (two packages) cream cheese (not reduced fat)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla paste)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 T heavy cream
Combine the ingredients for the crust and press into a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 325 for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned, and set aside to cool.
Bring a pot of water to boil for a bath. Combine the cheeses and sugar in your stand mixer and beat at low speed to mix, then raising to medium speed. Beat for three minutes until light and smooth. In a bowl, beat the eggs and the extra yolks. Add the lemon juice and slowly add to the cream cheese mixture, beating until combined, until there are no lumps. Add the lemon zest and the heavy cream and mix until well combined.
Wrap the springform pan in foil to prevent leaks. Boil water in a pot (you should have started this before hand) and create a water bath. Put the springform pan in the water bath so that it goes up halfway on the sides of the pan on the outside. This is the same way you make creme brulee, and in both cases is necessary so the dessert does not crack. Fill the filling inside the cheesecake and bake for one hour at 325 until set and a light golden brown.
Allow to cool in the water bath, as the water cools (so it cools slowly and does not crack). Then refrigerate and serve chilled.