Monday, October 5, 2009

The Ultimate Fresh Strawberry Birthday Cheesecake



Our oldest recently turned 12 and she choose a cheesecake instead regular old birthday cake. Well I had planned to do a white cake with fresh strawberries and cream, so I sort of changed plans. I had baked Tyler's Ultimate Cheesecake once before (before my blog time), so I knew it was indeed Ultimate! I looked around for a strawberry sauce/glaze and went to work on this. I of course adapted the baking directions to what worked for us. Basically bake 1 hour, rest 30 minutes. Comes out SOO creamy! Since I knew writing a Birthday message would be impossible over dice strawberries, I thought to make the lettering from royal icing (like I did w/chocolate) and pop them on top once dry. Well...getting them off the wax paper wasn't so easy. They kept breaking! Waaah! But I was able to use the #12. And since I had already placed a few whipped cream "glue dots" on the cake for the lettering, I had to finish it off so it didn't look silly. Oh well, it didn't hurt the taste one bit. =)

I ask you to try this recipe, it's a nice soft creamy cheesecake, not at all dense and drier like others. It's such an easy recipe to follow too, I bet you cannot mess it up. Top it with whatever topping you like (I prefer canned cherry pie filling), or try the fresh strawberry one I have below.


Crust:
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (I use 2 packs/sleeves -use food processor)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or omit and use cinnamon grahams)
2 TBL granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 (8-ounce) cream cheese blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pint (16oz) sour cream
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Fresh Strawberry Topping, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.

For the crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened (I just used my food processor).
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set a large roasting pan with 1" water on bottom oven rack, place cheesecake on middle rack (you could also wrap the cheesecake pan in foil and set in a pan of water, but I don't take that chance anymore after ruining a great pumpkin cheesecake I baked that way). Bake for 60 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Turn off the oven, crack the door open with a wooden spoon handle and let the cheesecake sit for 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack, let cool in pan for 30 more minutes.

Cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of desired topping over the surface.
Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.


click photo to read captions


topping
2 C fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, diced (I bought 2 lbs & saved some whole berries for garnish & used the rest for this)
3/4 C sugar
3 TBL cornstarch
pinch salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
dot of Red food coloring gel (my secret ingredient)

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add strawberries and stir well. Heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it boils reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside 1/3 of mixture. Puree the sauce until smooth. Stir in the reserved 1/3 strawberries and sauce. Stir in vanilla and a small dab of red food coloring gel. Pour into a bowl or serving dish. Put plastic wrap over the surface to avoid forming a skin and refrigerate until ready to use.

From Mommy I'm Hungry




From Mommy I'm Hungry


sharing some at:




enjoy,

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6 Lovely Comments:

Leslie M. said...

OMGOSH!!! Everything you make looks so DELISH Rachelle!!! I wish I lived near you!!! i LOVE but my butt would be 10 feet wide!!! I LOVE Cheesecake! PLUS your pictures always look so professional!!! YUMMO!
Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

MOMSWEB said...

My firstborn is asking for strawberry cheesecake for his birhtday next month. I'm so happy I dropped by.

Deanna said...

This looks so yummy! Tyler's recipe is definitely my go-to for cheesecake. It's so amazing and versatile for adding different toppings and flavors and still comes out perfect every time!

MrsM said...

I've been wanting cheesecake for days now...and this only makes it worse! It looks SO DELICIOUS!

OhMySugarHigh said...

How did you know I'm a sucker for cheesecake? It is my very favorite dessert and I can totally relate. My mom is making me a cheesecake for my 30th birthday party tomorrow with family and I can't wait to eat it. This one looks divine! Thanks for linking this recipe to our weekly link and hope to see you around again soon! - Emilie

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