Saturday, June 27, 2015

America's Test Kitchen's Cheesecake with Roasted Strawberry Topping

A little pet peeve of mine is recipes whose titles start with, "the best." Really - the best? In those whole vast culinary world you want to throw down the gauntlet and make that claim? That takes some mighty large huevos my friend.

Hence, when a co-worker tried a slice of this cheesecake from America's Test Kitchen and exclaimed, "this is the best cheesecake that I have ever had," my natural skepticism paused. 

This cheesecake... is too legit to quit. Now I'm not going to give it the title of "best" but goodness gracious it's better than good. It's freaking good. Why so? Adjectives include luscious, creamy, rich, and smooth, full-bodied without being heavy. 

The crust offers a nice counter balance because of the baked in cinnamon. I would say you could even cut back a little bit on the sugar in the crust. As with any cheesecake, make sure you schedule around the cooking time (about 2 hours total with cake and crust)! I prefer baking the day before so it has the night to chill.

This cheesecake was specially made for my kuya (brother) as a birthday treat! You've seen a few cheesecakes (White Chocolate Cheesecake with Hearts and Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake) that I've made for him for past birthdays.  Brandon is always more than grateful.  He gives a big hug and thank you no matter what someone gives him. I could bestow him with a bowl of mud and he'd be appreciative. You can imagine my surprise when he simply said, "this is better than last year's cheesecake." 

If this recipe can break kuya's super considerate silence... well then we're cooking with fire.

Know this now! When you sign up for cheesecake... real cheesecake... you are signing up for sinfully high calories and a trip to confession. Better make that the gym. This angelic looking recipe holds an asinine amount of cream cheese, a whole bunch of eggs, a little sour cream, just a hint of lemon, a dash of vanilla extract, and some serious sugar. Don't you dare try to lie to yourself with that "light" cream cheese nonsense. 

Steer into the skid, my friends.

Adorning the top of this cheesecake, I added some roasted strawberries. Roasted strawberries are my answer to everything! They're incredible on top buckwheat pancakes, served with some wine, or slathered on millet muffins. The best part is their simplicity and versatility. I bake them whole on at 375F until their tender, about 15-20 minutes, with a little maple syrup drizzled on top. There's no need for a lot of sugar, let nature do her work. 

The only issue I had with this recipe was the quantity it produced. I definitely had enough batter for TWO cheesecakes. I'm not sure if this is the intention of yield but it sure made for some happy co-workers!

For the America's Test Kitchen's Cheesecake recipe, subscribe to their site or check it out on My Baker Lady's site.