|Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake|
Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More
Today's Tuesday Tutor: Chocolate Moosey
But I do have an ulterior motive for featuring Carla - her cheesecake. Carla is a self-professed cheesecake aficionado and has perfected the art of making cheesecake (free from cracks, rubbery edges, or collapsed centers). And when I told Carla I was terrified of making a cheesecake after multiple epic failures, she recommended today's Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake. And if you think this cheesecake looks familiar, you'd be right - it was featured a few weeks back in the Food Fetish Friday series. And it is 100% Fetish Worthy.
About the Author
- "Despite what you may think, I never grew up baking with my family. Sure, my mom would make a cake from a box, but my passion for baking didn't come from my parents. In fact, I'm the one who inspired my mom to start baking from scratch this past year."
- "I have a cupcake obsession. And I'm not just talking about eating them. I have a little glass cupboard in my kitchen filled with ceramic cupcakes. I have cupcake signs hanging up. I wear cupcake t-shirts. I even have a cupcake Christmas tree where all the ornaments are literally cupcakes (http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2011/12/18/cupcake-christmas-tree-2/)."
- "I don't know how to grill. Ok I can grill hot dogs on my little propane grill, but I've never cooked anything else (except for eggplant last week - trying to learn!). I don't even know how to set up a charcoal grill."
- "I have entered only two baking contests in my life. Both times I have won first place."
- "One thing I do regret is not embracing my Italian heritage more. I never grew up with my grandparents, so I never learned any cooking from them. My parents didn't embrace it either, so I really missed out. Making homemade pasta is on my bucket list."
How to Make: Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
|The strawberry curd is very simple. It with a handful of strawberries...|
|Wash and hull the strawberries...|
|You will need about 1 cup of sliced strawberries for the curd...|
|Add the strawberries to a food processor or blender. I used my Ninja blender for this task.|
|Add 2 - 4 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (it depends on how sweet your strawberries are). It's|
late in the strawberry season, so mine were pretty tart so I used 3 Tablespoons of sugar.
|Blend the strawberries until smooth.|
|Next comes the corn starch thickener for the curd. You will need the juice of 1/2 a lemon|
|To the squeezed lemon juice, add 2 1/2 teaspoons corn starch. Whisk together until you have|
a smooth sauce. Really try to break up those lumps...
|Add the lemon and corn starch mixture to the strawberry puree and blend again until smooth|
|Strain the puree into a small pan|
|You will need to work the puree through the sieve with a spoon. You will be left with a thick|
paste of seeds - discard the seeds (but keep the sieve handy as you will need it again)
|You're ready to thicken your curd.|
|Cover the curd and bring to a boil over medium heat (this will take a couple of minutes)|
|Once the curd begins to boil, remove the lid and whisk continuously for 3-4 minutes until the|
curd smooth and thickened. Remove from heat.
|If you are not using the curd the same day you make it, you will want to store the curd in a|
heat-safe dish with a sealable lid. I used my 7 oz Corningware ramekin for this...
|Strain the curd into a heat-safe dish. You will again need to press the curd through the sieve|
with a spoon.
|You will end up with about 3/4 cup of curd. Set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake|
filling and crust...
|Process the graham cracker pieces until you arrive at fine crumbs as shown.|
|Next comes the butter that will bind the graham crackers together. You will need about 5|
Tablespoons of unsalted butter
|Melt the butter. I slice up the butter into pieces and use the microwave to melt the butter. It|
takes about 25 seconds...
|Add the melted butter to the graham cracker crumbs|
|Process the butter and crumbs until both are well combined.|
|Dump the buttery graham cracker crumbs into a springform pan. (If you don't own a springform|
pan, go out and buy one. You really do need one for cheesecake and they're handy for other
desserts as well...)
|Press the crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of the pan|
|Place the prepared crust on a baking sheet and set aside while you prepare the cheesecake|
filling. Now would be the time to preheat the oven to 350F
|Your cream cheese should now be softened and at room temperature. Add all 3 blocks to the|
bowl of a stand mixer. If you're not using a stand mixer, you can always use a big bowl and
an electric hand mixer...
|Add 1 cup of sugar to the cream cheese|
|Use the paddle attachment if you're using a stand mixer.|
|Combine the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed until smooth and creamy. Do|
not beat the ingredients on higher speeds as you do not want to incorporate a lot of air...
|While the cream cheese and sugar combine in the stand mixer, you can prepare other|
ingredients for the filling, starting with 3 large eggs...
|...and the juice from 1/2 lemon...|
|Check the cream cheese and sugar - it should be creamy as shown. You will want to scrape|
down the sides the bottom of the bowl before adding the remaining ingredients.
|Add your eggs to the mixture, one egg at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before|
adding the next egg.
|Once the eggs are fully incorporated, add the lemon juice|
|Then add 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Let the filling mix until well combined, but do not|
whip. Scrape down the sides the bottom of the bowl again to ensure everything is fully combined.
|Once the mixture is completely smooth, you're ready to finish the cheesecake|
|Pour the filling into the prepared crust, smoothing the top gently with a spatula|
|Next spoon on the strawberry curd - I used most the the curd, but you could probably use all|
of it without any problems as I only had about 1 Tablespoon remaining...
|Use a knife to swirl the strawberry curd through the cheesecake filling. Just move the knife|
back and forth through the filling and curd. It takes a few minutes, but it really will look
beautiful if you take the time...
|Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack|
|Run a knife around the edge between the cheesecake and the pan. Then allow the cheesecake|
to cool on the wire rack for another hour. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 12 hours
|To serve, release the cheesecake from the springform pan. I don't bother to try and remove from|
the pan's bottom - I just serve directly from the pan bottom...
|Everything about this cheesecake is delicious - the texture, the flavor, the strawberry swirl.|
It's even gorgeous to look at! And once slice won't be enough...
Thoughts while scarfing...
- What do you want from the perfect cheesecake? I guarantee this cheesecake has it - creamy texture, very moist (not the least bit dry), easy-to-make (no water baths, no crazy baking techniques), rich texture, and absolutely no cracking. Oh, and just in case you're like me and you want that punch of berry-flavor, this cheesecake has just the right amount. If you're looking for the perfect cheesecake, I insist you try this one.
- If you use a stand mixer to combine the cheesecake filling, make sure you do NOT whip the ingredients - don't mixer any higher than low speed because you really don't want to incorporate air into the filling.
- I know the strawberry curd takes a bit of extra time to make, but it's really so simple to make and it makes a big difference in the final cheesecake. So spend 15 minutes to make the curd and you can thank Carla for the recipe later...
- Cheesecake should ALWAYS be chilled for a good 12 hours before serving - so remember to make this dessert the day before you want to serve it. And if you don't want to mar the beautiful surface of your cheesecake, do not remove from the springform pan until you're ready to serve and just stretch plastic wrap over the pan before chilling.