October Meetup: So much Cheesecake!

It was a dark and only slightly blustery night, and all the coyotes were howling like it was the last big sale before Christmas, when the Summerland bakers gathered to eat cheesecake.

Being October, Pumpkin was well represented in two kinds of cheesecake, one variety of mini cheesecake, and pumpkin muffins. There was also a surprising variety of cheeses used in the cakes, from goats cheese to quark, rictotta to good ole’ cream cheese. Cakes with Booze were somehow also well represented, but I don’t think that was necessarily to do with October. Come to think of it, booze seems to be featuring more regularly in our meetups…

Cheesecake night

Ribbons!Thanks again to all the bakers who participated in the Fall Fair. Kim brought along some of her ribbons, which included those not only for baking, but another for Best Anarchist Vegetable.

At least I think that was the category. I know it highlights vegetables that will not be defined by society’s narrow ideologies of size and shape. Go, Kim and hooray for anarchist vegetables (and fruits)!

Soap Cheesecake

Do Not Eat!

It wouldn’t be October without a Trick! We had one in the form of Jennifer’s Cake-which-was-not-a-cake. It was soap! Although her husband reports she is driving him mad with her new soap making obsession, we were all thrilled to receive our very own slice of soap cake.

Finally, there was the cake which refused to be photographed. Guarded by the spirits of “This-is-a-restaurant-recipe-what-do-you-think-you’re-doing,” nothing I tried seemed to work. The best photo I could get of Jean’s delightful cheesecake was a blurry shot with berries. I’m telling you, Jean – THEY KNEW!

Mystery Cheesecake

Mysterious cheesecake is mysterious.

That being said, let’s defy the spirits and have that mysterious recipe, shall we? It was so delicious and Jean has scaled it back from the monster volume that was the original recipe.

Jean’s Top Secret No Bake Cheesecake

I’ll give you the recipe that makes 2 x10″ cheesecakes as given to me.

1 ½ lb. cream cheese,2 ½ tins condensed milk,6 oz. lemon juice, ½ tsp. vanilla, 10 oz. graham crumbs, 4 oz. sugar, ¼ lb. butter, melted.

Combine crumbs, sugar and butter and press into 10″ spring form pans. Using a Kitchen Aid, (or other heavy duty mixer) cream the cream cheese, making sure it is very smooth. Add the condensed milk and continue to mix, making sure it is smooth-no lumps. Now this is the crucial part. Add the lemon juice and vanilla.

Mix it for 30 seconds; NO MORE NO LESS. Pour into your spring form pans and chill at least one hour or longer. These will keep for 4 days.

NOTE: do not overbeat the cheese mixture once the lemon juice has been added or the mixture will be runny. (Not only did I get my ratios wrong when I down-sized the recipe to make 1 cake, but I must have overbeaten the mixture as it was quite runny.

Serve the cheesecake with fresh or frozen berries. ( I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries.)

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Now we have Kim’s Robsonstrasse Baked Cheesecake. Both pretty and delicious! This cake reminded me of my great grandmother’s cheesecake that is made with quark. Here the raisins are soaked in rum (remember what I said about the booze?)

Robsonstrasse Baked Cheesecake

True Love and Cheesecake

(Makes 10 – 12 slices)

When the topic of cheesecake was suggested for The Bakers, I was transported back several decades to a deli on Robson Street in the days when Robson Street was referred to as “Robsonstrasse”.

Robsonstrasse, from Burrard to Jervis, was an enclave of European businesses. There was the Austria Shoe Salon, the Europa Cafe, the Freybe Deli and, of course, the European News. Not to be overshadowed was “Friendly Don”, the Workingman’s Friend, a new and used store. For lunch I would forgo all usual mid day options and, instead, take nourishment in the form of a big piece of baked cheesecake. The cheesecake had a shortcrust pastry and the cheese filling included raisins.

This cheesecake uses an unusual method for lining the pan with pastry. The bottom is rolled and baked blind but the sides are rolled and baked with the filling. The problem was calculating the pastry requirements for the sides of the pan. Casting back to Grade 8 math, I was able to calculate the amount of shortcrust pastry required using “pi” and the formula:

Circumference = pi multiplied by the diameter of the pan

Remembering that “pi” is always 3.14 then:
Circumference = (3.14) • (9”) or 28.26” = (3.14) • (9”)
Easy as pie. Or pi.

Ingredients
1⁄2 recipe shortcrust pastry (see below)
1 1⁄2 cups ricotta cheese, pressed through a sieve
1⁄2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, separated
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla
1 lemon, zested
1⁄4 cups dark raisins, soaked in 2 tbsp dark rum
confectioners sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9” spring form pan. Roll out half the pastry into a 9 1/2” inch circle. Press on the base of the pan and slightly up the sides. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 10 minutes and cool. Roll remaining pastry into a 28.26” by 2 1⁄2 inch wide strip making sure to be fairly even handed so the pastry is the same thickness all over. Line the sides of the pan making sure the bottom edge of the pastry sits inside the bottom crust or it will leak. Do not prick as it is baked with the filling. Lower oven heat to 350°.

Beat ricotta cheese, sour cream, yolks, sugar, vanilla and zest until thick. Whisk egg whites into soft peaks. Stir two tablespoonfuls of whites into cheese mixture, then fold in remainder with the raisins. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour. Turn off oven and let cake stand in the oven until cold.

To serve: unmold cheesecake and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
(enough for two 9” single crust cheesecakes)

Ingredients
3 1⁄2 cups flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 lemon, zested
2 large eggs, beaten
Splash of milk

Sift flour and icing sugar together. Work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture. Add lemon zest and mix. Add eggs and gently work until you have a ball of dough. If it is too dry add a splash of milk. Don’t work the pastry too much or it will be tough. Split dough into two flat rounds, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one half hour.

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Sandra’s Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

Light, creamy, lemony, and so good.

This recipe is from Bravo! Best of Bridge Cookbook. Sandra serves it with a berry coulis (nom!)

Crust
3/4 cup     Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup    Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup    melted butter

Filling

1 envelope (1/4 oz/7g) unflavoured gelatin
1/4 cup Cold water
1/4 cup Hot water
1/2 cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 package (8oz/250g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup Granulated sugar
2 cups Whipping cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 350% In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Pat into a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until browned.

Filling: sprinkle gelatin over cold water, then add hot water, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Let cool for a few minutes but do not let set. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth. Add gelatin mixture, stirring well. In another bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold whipped cream into cheese mixture. Pour filling into crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 1 day. Remove from pan and serve

Serves 8

Make Ahead: This cheesecake also freezes well. After chilling and removing from pan, place on a baking sheet and place in freezer, uncovered, until frozen, wrap in a double layer of foil. Place in a large plastic container and freeze for up to 2 weeks. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Top with finely grated zest of 1 lemon

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Gerri’s Spiced Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake for a 9” spring form pan (More Booze: check!)

Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake

I had forgotten to take a photo of Gerri’s cake until we had already eaten part of it. Oops.

1. Cook a small mini-Hubbard or a butternut squash and scoop out 2 cups for this recipe. If it is moist at all, spread between two layers of paper towel and pat dry.

2. Process in a food processor until smooth with no lumps.

3. Crust:

  • 2 cups graham crumbs
  •  1 cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup butter

Mix together and after lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, push crust down with end of a glass to make it snug in the pan. Bake at 225 deg for 8 – 10 minutes.

Wrap the spring form pan really well with two pieces of heavy duty foil so that the water from the water bath can’t get into the pan while baking.

4. Filling:

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 pkgs cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups cooked squash
  • 5 eggs room temp.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup good quality bourbon (or rum)

Whisk spices, salt and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat the softened cream cheese in standing mixer (or large food processor)
Add one third of the sugar/spice mix at a time, beating between each addition.
Add the cooked, pureed squash and vanilla and beat until all well combined.
Add three of the eggs, beating at med-low speed about one minute.
Scrape the bowl and add the last two eggs.
Add the heavy cream and bourbon or rum and beat at LOW speed until combined.

5. Pour into spring form pan and set in a hot water bath and bake at 325 and bake between one hour and one & a half hours depending on your oven.

Cheesecake should read 150 deg on an instant read thermometer – check after it has been in the oven one hour and keep checking the internal temperature until it is 150.

Take the water bath with the cheesecake still in it and put on a cooking rack until the water in the bath is lukewarm.

Take the cheesecake out of the bath, remove the foil and run a knife around the outside of the pan to loosen and cool out of the fridge for about three hours.

This cheesecake should then sit in the fridge for at least five hours.

To serve, whip cream and add ¼ cup of bourbon and ¼ cup of sugar, to your taste and spoon on cheesecake slices before serving.

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Baileys Cheesecake

Slightly lumpy but it’s got loads of booze!

Sophia Bailey’s Cheesecake

Yes, more booze. I had wanted to make this BBC Goodfood recipe for some time, but realized too late that the pan I had was bigger than the one in the recipe. Not wanting my cake to be too short, I increased the ingredients, but in a bit of a slap-dash fashion (ie I didn’t use Kim’s handy pi calculation technique) and as a result it didn’t set properly and was a bit lumpy. The flavours were good but I don’t know if I’ll make it again. I also didn’t add the espresso jelly because I was convinced I would make a mess of it and that it would ruin the cake. I went with grated chocolate instead. Yet another round of “it sure didn’t look like the photo from the recipe!”

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Mini Cheesecakes

Goat cheese and lime – oh my.

Dorthea’s Lime-Goat Cheese Cheesecakes

(Adapted from Southern Living Magazine.)

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons pistachios (I used salted)
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package goat cheese, softened
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons lime juice
Garnish: fresh raspberries

Pulse 4 tablespoons pistachios in food processor just until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs and 3 tablespoons melted butter; pulse until well blended. Spoon mixture evenly into 12 lightly greased muffin pan cups; press firmly onto bottoms. (Tamp down.)

Bake at 325F  for 5 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Beat softened cream cheese and goat cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until smooth; gradually add honey, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lime rind and juice; pour batter evenly into prepared muffin pan.

Place muffin pan in a shallow broiler pan. Add hot water to broiler pan to a depth of 1/2 inch (halfway to top of muffin cups). (Note: My broiler pan wasn’t big enough so I used a separate tray with water)

Bake at 300? for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly firm in the center. Carefully remove from oven, and let stand in water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove muffin pan from water bath to wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill 8 hours. (Note: I chilled for 4 hours). Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. Run a knife around edges to remove cheesecakes from pan.

Garnish with whipped cream and raspberries – fresh or preserved.

Dorthea’s Notes:
You could probably make this with all goat cheese, I found the goat cheese to be quite mild.

The first time I made this I used custard cups, which worked really well, and resulted in a nice firm cheesecake. For the Bake Night ones I experimented a bit by adding 1/3 cup egg white, and used a greased muffin tin, and they looked wonderful and puffed up a bit in the oven. Because they felt too soft to the touch, I left them in the oven longer, which probably caused the resulting cheesecakes to be very dry and crumbly.

I would make this recipe again, but would try using cupcake liners or bake them in individual custard cups again.

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Laura’s Apple Streusel Cheesecake

Apple Streusel Cheesecake. Because everyone loves a bit of streusel now and then.

Apple Streusel Cheesecake. Because everyone loves a bit of streusel now and then.

I have posted the image of the recipe below because I love it. I love that the page has smudges all over it and there’s writing on it from Laura reminding herself that the recipe was indeed excellent, or at least it was in August and presumably would be again in subsequent months.

From Laura: This is the recipe I SHOULD have made. I substituted the cream cheese for soft tofu, which wasn’t nearly as it should have been. This is MUCH better!

Well, we all liked it very much Laura, so anyway you might like to make it again is just fine by us.

Apple Streusel Cheesecake

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Pumpkin Muffins

Mmmm…crumbly topping…

Lory’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

These were lovely and would be a great breakfast muffin. The recipe comes from Art Knapp’s. Thanks, Art Knapp’s! Lory also shared this cool video of slow cooker cheesecake. I have an old, small slow cooker, but when I someday advance to a newer model, this sounds like a good idea.

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Janice’s mini pumpkin cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Topped with maple syrup whipped cream. *Drool

These were both delicious and delectable. Oreo base? Um, yes.

Line 2 muffin tins (24) with medium papers. Set aside.

Mix 1 1/4 cups OREO crumb mix with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Put 1 tbsp . in each paper cup. Press down flat.

8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c pure canned pumpkin
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg 1 egg.

Blend cream cheese and sugar till smooth. Then add other ingredients and mix well.
Pour onto crumb base. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min.

Serve with pure maple syrup flavoured whipped cream.

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The only recipe we’re missing is Jennifer’s Pumpkin Cheesecake. But she’s on holiday. Diving in the sea and generally enjoying herself. So fine then. We’ll just stare at your cheesecake without you. Sigh. I miss you. Get home already.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This was apparently reduced fat, so we all at extra. That’s how that works, right?

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