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The Cheesecake Queen

Naomi's Turtle Cheesecake

Of all the recipes that I have made, I am most famous for my cheesecakes. I was living in Brooklyn New York when I made my first cheesecake. After collecting three different cheesecake recipes, compiled my grocery list, I headed off to the Kosher grocery store just down the street.

I was surprised that the recipes called for Philadelphia cream cheese. I thought that cheesecakes called for some other kind of cheese. I made all three cheesecakes in one evening. 

My roommate said, “wow, you are serious about this, aren’t you?”

Well of course, if one wants to learn how to do something well, one must be serious about it.

Of the three cheesecakes, two of them were perfect, and the third was not so perfect...

Cheesecakes are perfect, pretty little desserts. They can be sleek, fluffy, creamy, fruity or rich. There are so many varieties of cheesecake, I could write a year’s worth of cheesecake recipes.
In the following years, I made about twenty more different cheesecakes. One thing to remember is that these treats are very high calorie. They are treats that I enjoy making for other people (mostly because of how much others appreciate my desserts), but personally, I prefer my desserts to be 150 calories or less.  

Here is an incomplete sample of some of the cheesecakes that I made:
Christmas Ladyfinger
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
New York Cheesecake
Chocolate swirl
Blueberry and White Chocolate

Some cheesecakes, I made my own gram crust. Other cheesecakes I made without a crust. I toyed with the idea of starting a cheesecake business in Mexico City, but then scraped the idea realizing that it would only be accessible to some people. Plus - Mexicans like their desserts with a little more spice than a cheesecake can afford.

There are a few rules to follow when you make a cheesecake

1. Remember it is a baked custard – do not beat the batter. This will incorporate air into your batter and it will fall flat in the oven. You might end up with a big depression in the middle of the cake after you pull it out of the oven.

2. Use a spring form pan. This makes for easy removal and easy decorations. They are usually round, but come in different sizes. So you can make individual tiny cheesecakes, or great big cheesecakes.

The New York Cheesecake recipe below is what I consider to be the ‘cheesecake standard’. If you master that recipe, then you can start manipulating your cheesecake recipes to whatever you like. Just remember – Do not overbeat the batter and use a spring form pan. In fact, just incorporate all of the ingredients with a basic wooden spoon. Do not even use a mixer.

15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch spring form pan.
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Sometimes I like to add a pinch of chocolate, or a pinch of vanilla extract. But, it is entirely up to you.

Press onto bottom of spring form pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. (Remember my advice – use a wooden spoon and keep the mixer in the cupboard.) Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out dry. Let your cheesecake sleep in the oven for the next five or six hours. This will prevent cracking. After that six hour period is up, take your cheesecake and gently place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Next Morning: remove your cheesecake from the spring form pan. Now comes the fun part! The toppings and decoration.....
Have Fun!

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