Monday, February 04, 2008

Munchie Mondays: Cindy's Citrus Berry Cheesecake

Remember that night I was craving cheesecake? Well, here's it is!

Frankly, I've never baked one before, but it came out pretty good. I'm darn proud of my cheesecake, yes sirree! At first I thought it might have been too "wet" but ended up setting up nicely in the fridge after it cooled down. I'm assuming that the amount of actual cream cheese can be varied some if you want something a little lighter.

I will say that this cake was incredibly labor intensive and I doubt I'm going to make another one any time soon. However, I suppose it's worth the effort. It is kind of important to either have a cake leveler or be adept at leveling a cake with a sharp knife if you want this to look pretty. I actually didn't know cheese cake came out of the over with a "skin" but that makes perfect sense. The ones you get at a store or buy at a bakery are all prettified. With that said, you do lose a lot of cake when you do that! A friend of mine suggested dumping the scrapings into a vat of home ice cream. Not a bad idea. :)

Cindy's Citrus Berry Cheesecake

1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (plain works too)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14z) can of condensed milk
4 eggs
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
1 tsp lemon rind
1 tsp lime rind
1 tsp orange rind

1/4 c of dark chocolate chips
whipped cream (1/2 cup yielded enough for my topping)
fresh berries (I used raspberries)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

In a bowl combine cookie crumbs with sugar and melted butter. Mix thoroughly until crumbs are moistened. Dump into a 9 or 9/5 inch spring form pan and press crumbs down firmly and evenly to the bottom of the pan:

In another bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on high or medium speed until well incorporated. Pour into pan.

Place pan atop cookie sheet in case batter spills. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until cake is set. You can test this by poking the center with a toothpick.

When done, let it cool inside of the pan for 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the pan and release cake. Cool a top a wire rack for an additional 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if you so desire, level the cake with a cake lever or sharp knife to remove crust:

Place cheesecake (lightly covered with plastic wrap) in refrigerator and let cool for at least 4 hours. I let my cool and set up overnight. The cake with become much more dense when it settles.

Prior to decorating, wash and dry berries. Melt chocolate chips in a Ziploc baggie by placing bag with chocolate in a vat of hot water. Beat heavy cream on high with a pinch of sugar and vanilla to make whipped cream (or just go to the store and buy some...doesn't matter to me).

To decorate, snip the end of the ziplock bag and draw designs on top of the cake. You can do whatever you want. You could even skip this step, but the chocolate goes well with the tanginess of the citrus and berry flavors. Some people like to do chocolate shavings instead.

Top with whipped cream and fresh berries and you're good to go! Voila!

Pretty eh? Don't forget to put this back in the fridge after serving lest you get food poisoning or fuzzy mold on your berries. That was the hard lesson I learned. T, my mom and I each only got to eat one slice before I left the thing sitting on the counter.

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Blogger stitchwitch said...

Hi, Cindy,

Your cheesecake looks so good. I made one last night (sugar free) for Dan's birthday. We will taste it tonight, and I'll let you know how it is.

Here is a tip for baking cheesecake. Put a pizza stone in the oven and turn the temp to 400 degrees. When it is hot, put the cheesecake in and turn the oven down to 200 degrees and let the cheesecake bake until done - about 60-90 minutes. Check it after an hour, and keep checking often. Test with a toothpick. This baking doesn't leave a brown crust on the cheesecake, so it doesn't need to be leveled.

Thursday, February 07, 2008  
Blogger stitchwitch said...

BTW, the pizza stone is just to maintain the temperature in the oven. Put the stone in the bottom of the oven and put the cheesecake on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven.

Thursday, February 07, 2008  
Blogger cchang said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the tip, Sandy. I figured you'd know how to bake a cheese cake right. Do you have any idea how that crust forms in the first place? Is it the change in temperature?

Tell Dan happy birthday for me!

Thursday, February 07, 2008  
Blogger Pooka said...

You are EVIL, Cindy, EVIL! EVIL, I tell you! I'm not allowed to have any dairy right now, on account of the nasty foul Alien Death Plague! *sob whimper*

Man, that cheesecake turned out gorgeous. I'm drooling.

Oh, and yes ... YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! See my blog for details. :D

Sunday, February 10, 2008  

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