Cheesecake

Poor Chris has been putting up with a lot on my end lately.  He’s such a sweetheart about it, but the fact is that I haven’t been as active around the house as usual.  Dinners aren’t always made, laundry has been a bear to tackle, and he puts up with it and doesn’t complain.

So yesterday, after doing laundry, picking up around the house, cleaning the kitchen, and updating the budget, I made him a cheesecake.

Sidebar: I may be the only girl in the world who’s boyfriend made her a cheesecake for her birthday after 3 weeks of dating.  That was Chris, and the cheesecake is the stuff of legend.

4 bars of cream cheese.

Godiva chocolate liqueur.

Symphony bar chunks.

Chocolate cookie crust.

Oh me, oh my!  No one ever made me a cheesecake, and he’d gone so far as to use a water bath when he made it!  I was smitten, and Chris was looking pretty good, too 😉

Proof that Chris once had a picture of Homer Simpson in his underwear hanging in his apartment, a fact which he disputes!  And the other picture?  Yeah, that was hanging from a vent with a twisty-tie.  Classic boy college decor!

In the nearly 6 years we’ve been married, I’ve made him one cheesecake before now.  Its not that I don’t like to bake, its that I’m terribly intimidated when it comes to making a cheesecake for Chris!  I’m always convinced that he won’t like it, but I decided to buck up, tie on an apron, and just go for it.

My first cheesecake problem occurred when, after returning from my walk to the grocery, I realized that the bar of cream cheese that I thought was in the refrigerator was, in fact, no longer there and that I was short.  Cream cheese in New Zealand comes in larger packages than in the States, so I wasn’t too distressed.  Still, I was a bit disappointed over having broken one of the cardinal rules of recipe shopping – always have eyes-on the ingredient before you assume that you have it!

So, the recipe was modified.  Instead of using 4 bars of cream cheese {which seemed like a lot to me, anyway}, I made do with slightly more than 3 bars and took out one of the eggs.  I made the crust, popped it in the freezer for awhile, made the filling {divine!}, heated up the water bath in the oven, and baked.  In the middle of that, my parents called on Skype.  They were able to witness a bit of the cheesecake making process, and when it was in the oven I was able to Skype chat with one of my sisters and niece.  That’s the best way to make cheesecake, in my opinion – lots of love and family conversation thrown in the mix 🙂

So, how did it turn out?  It turned out… quite well!  It wasn’t specatular and I won’t be winning any awards, but it was cheesecake and it was good.  Part of the problem is our oven {that’s not a cop-out – if you had our oven, you’d hate it, too!}.  Our oven consistently cooks at least 15 degrees too cool.  So, I have to set it for 15 degrees higher than normal.  It also will randomly heat up and cool off during a baking cycle.  I checked it 4 times during the cheesecake baking, and each 4 times it had self-adjusted.. Oh, and the back half of our oven cooks more rapidly than the front, so I kept trying to even things out by rotating.  I hate our oven.  Chris didn’t seem to mind too much, though…

There are no words for this photo!

Probably one of the goofiest pictures that I have of Chris!  This was the face he made when he saw my reaction to him taking such a huge bite of cheesecake!

Explaining to me why big bites are necessary {but forks aren’t} when eating cheesecake.  Is he not the cutest college professor you ever saw?

If you feel like following in my delicious footsteps and you want to make a cheesecake of your very own, then feel free to follow the recipe that I’ve typed out below.  Enjoy!

CHEESECAKE RECIPE

CRUST

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 C melted margarine or butter

FILLING

3 {8 ounce or 250 gram} packages of cream cheese

1 1/4 C granulated sugar

1/2 C sour cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F {~245 degrees C}.  Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet that will fit the cheesecake pan inside into the oven.  Fill pan with ~ 1/2 inch of hot water and keep in oven while preheating.  This will be your water bath.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter in bowl.  Mix together with fork and pour into 9 inch cheesecake pan.  Press mixture into bottom of pan and 2/3 of the way up the sides.  Wrap a large piece of heavy-duty foil around pan, making sure that there are no tears or gaps for water to leak inside.  Place in freezer while mixing the filling.

Using an electric mixer, mix together cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and sour cream till smooth, even consistency.  Be sure to use a spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing.  Whisk eggs in medium bowl and pour into cream cheese mixture.  Blend mixture just enough to incorporate the eggs and achieve an even texture.

Remove crust from freezer and pour filling into it.  Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath.  Bake at 475 degrees F {~245 degrees C} for 12 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees F {~175 degrees C} for 50 – 60 minutes, or till top of cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color.  Center of cheesecake will still be a bit wobbly, but this will set as the cheesecake continues baking while cooling.  Cover and chill the cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Top each slice with whipped cream and sliced fruit.  Serves 12.

*Recipe adapted from “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake”

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13 comments

  1. Sarah says:

    That cheesecake Chris made for you sounds AMAZING!! Wow. I would have married the man who baked for me after three weeks also. And yes, those pictures of him are the perfect professor pics!

  2. Juli says:

    Can you believe this? We have not had cheesecake since before Five was born. (He is allergic to eggs and dairy). Looks divine. I’m so impressed!

  3. Christina says:

    I am so impressed! That cheesecake looks amazing! It took me 4 years to get up the nerve to make my husband cheesecake and my recipe definitely needs some work!

  4. varunner7 says:

    LOL, I like his shirt 😉

    I’ve made a few cheesecakes. They are one of the few things that never turn out quite as good as storebought. At least mine don’t seem to!

  5. molly says:

    looks delicious! and by the way, it’s great that chris is patient if you are having a bit a lull right now. I always hit my lull about 3 months after moving to NZ (which i have done 4 times now!) Something about the novelty wearing off but not being familiar either… Cheese cake is definitely bound to be part of a solution to any lull!!!

  6. Kate (sbs) says:

    i love cheesecake, but have always felt intimidated too. maybe i’ll try your recipe. i feel for you concerning the oven issues….that can really make baking not as fun! thank you for sharing your bravery and i’m glad it was a success!

  7. Valerie says:

    Kudos for making a cheesecake! The 1st cheesecake I made was for Dad’s b-day a few years back & it came out lumpy and unappetizing. Dad’s the only one who ate it & I think he did that just to humor me! Great pics of Chris; thanks for sharing!!

  8. Cindy says:

    I’m glad it turned out well. I actually wondered while I was talking to you the other night and the timer dinged if you were going to look in the oven and see how it turned out. It looks like it turned out great!
    I foresee Chris’ future wearing goofy T-shirts just like Dad does. Oh no.

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