Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TWD--Tall and Creamy Cheesecake!

This week's Tuesday's With Dorie recipe was chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry.  You can find the recipe for the cheesecake on her yummy, great, cool, fun blog that I've linked above.  It's also in Dorie Greenspan's great book, Baking From My Home To Yours.  Get the book!  You've got to go see Anne's take on this cheesecake!  Yummy!  I made the cheesecake on the 23rd so we could eat it for dessert on Christmas Eve.

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I went basically plain.  I don't often make a cheesecake that calls for more than two packages of cream cheese, mostly because then it's getting expensive and I think there are some good cheesecakes out there that only need two packages.  That said, I'm super glad I tried this recipe--that calls for four packages (2 pounds!) of cream cheese.  It's definitely good and a step above my usual cheesecakes. 

I changed a few things, but not much.  I always only buy and use 1/3 less fat cream cheese, so that is what I used for this cheesecake.  The recipe also suggests any combination amounts of sour cream and heavy cream in the amount of 1  1/3 cups.  I used one half plus one third cups of sour cream (also light) and 1/2 cup heavy cream. 

And then the only other thing I didn't do that was part of the recipe is the dreaded water bath.  I just didn't want to bother with it and I knew that many others successfully made their cheesecakes without baking it in a water bath.  I knew it could cause cracks in the cheesecake, but I was okay with that.

Here's my beautiful cheesecake baked and ready to sit in the hot-warm-cooling turned off oven with the door propped open for one hour.  Nice!

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It was a little darker on top than I wanted, but I was delighted there were no cracks and it was so tall looking!

I had to run a few errands, so I turned off the oven and instructed Kevin to leave it alone until the timer went off and to carefully remove it from the oven.  He told me during the course of the hour, it began shrinking a little.  Why?  Well, my only guess is because of the water bath, because other than that, I followed Dorie's recipe to a tee.  Others have told me it could be because it got too cool too fast or vise versa.  Who knows?  Well, it made a perfect indentation for my planned canned cherry pie filling (Kevin's favorite topping for cheesecake).

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I decided not to put cherries over the whole thing, as I knew we'd be eating it over several days.  So we put the cherries on individual pieces.

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Does a water bath also prevent the top from browning?

It doesn't really matter, the cheesecake was good.  Kevin thought it was a little too "sour" from the sour cream, and next time I'd use more cream instead.  And because we all just need a lot more fat in our diets!  Pashaw!

Thanks for the great Tall and Creamy pick this week, Anne!  You can check out all the other baker's cheesecakes, too!  Man, I'll bet there's some good ones out there!

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30 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

It looks absolutely fabulous! An indentation for topping is no flaw at all :) It sounds like the heavy cream might be why it browns - I used all sour cream, and mine stayed a pristine white. Too weird, huh?

Megan said...

I used a water bath and mine still browned, but it didn't sink. It was actually more browned than I would have liked, but it was still delicious all the way!

Happy New Year!

Christine said...

At least I know how it works without the water bath. Mine was a disaster in the water bath and still came out brown. Your cheesecake looks delicious!

chocolatechic said...

Gorgeous.

Mine didn't indent, but it also didn't brown very well.

n.o.e said...

I like the brown on top - mine was brown with the water bath, and it also cracked. and leaked. I'm going with your method next time! We used half cream and half sour cream and I liked that. I want to try greek yogurt to cut the fat next time.
Nancy

Maci said...

looks great!!

Karen said...

Looks delicious!! I love the cherries on top! :)

noble pig said...

The water bath is the only way to go for no cracks...it looks beautiful! I love it!

Leslie said...

Your cheesecake looks perfect! I think the browning looks great. Mine also browned and I used a water bath.

Anna said...

Great photo! If I didn't have a pie to finish up, I'd run to the store for cheesecake ingredients. Yum.

Sarah said...

looks great! i want a slice right now!

vibi said...

WOW! It's a good thing you took pictures of it while still in the mold... or I would not have believed it was home made one!
Absolutely perfect, Katrina!

Rebecca said...

Looks delicious. Great idea to make it for Christmas Eve!

Maria said...

Cherry cheesecake, a true classic. Looks wonderful!

Barbara Bakes said...

Good to know that it tastes great with the reduced fat ingredients. I always use them too! It looks rich and delicious!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

It looks soooooooo creamy Katrina! I have to try that recipe next time I make a cheesecake!

rainbowbrown said...

What perfection! Very nice.

Jess said...

Looks beautiful - water bath or not. I also skipped the water bath and had about an hour of puffy cheesecake perfection, then SPLAT. But as long as it tastes good, right?

Peggy said...

Looks fabulous to me! I didn't do the water bath either. Happy new year!

TeaLady said...

The topping is perfect for cheesecake. Looks really good. All but one of mine deflated while cooking. One didn't. ??? who knows. Yummy!!!

Pamela said...

I'm with you on the low fat cream cheese. It's all I buy, it's all we eat and honestly, I can't tell the difference. No one complained when they tasted it, either. I also only used low fat sour cream in the recipe, no heavy cream. I think your cake looks great!

Kevin said...

That cheesecake looks amazing!

Have a great new year!

basicallybaked said...

Mmmm! That looks yummy! I can't believe that I've never purchased that book.
Sue

Anne Marie said...

I just got caught up on your Christmas pics! Looks like you had a wonderful day. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sounds like our oldest boys would have fun playing long strategy games together!

CookiePie said...

Your cheesecake is so beautiful - yum yum!!

Carla said...

At least it indented and not cracked. I used a water bath and mine aren't as brown as yours and didn't shrink. Not sure if that is the answer or coincidence. It would be a nice experiment when cream cheese is on sale. To go with Engineer Baker's comment, I used all heavy cream and mine didn't brown that much. Yours still looks great, especially with the cherries on top.

kim said...

it looks so delicious!! glad you enjoyed it. i can't wait till i get a chance to make it! :)
happy new year!

AmyRuth said...

Nice job and it looks so delicious, I just may have to go and get into mine. Gosh all this blogging makes for a hunger pain. he he Seriously, I don't know why some brown and some don't. Mine really didn't brown and it didn't crack either. I did use the water bath. I used 1 cup sc and 1/3 c of heavy cream so maybe Caitlin EB is right about the browning effect.
Happy 2009
AmyRuth

Cathy said...

Hey -- if you didn't tell me, I would have assumed that you made that indentation on purpose! You are right -- it is PERFECT for that cherry pie topping (YUM!) Your cheesecake looks incredible. In fact, your cheesecake pictures are making me want some of this again.

Kayte said...

Gorgeous...you really make a lovely, lovely cheesecake!