Strawberry Cheesecake .. I love it!

by Maryam on September 12, 2010

When I was a child I adored celebrating Eid. It always meant to me wearing new elegant clothes, receiving gifts from every member in the family, playing and having fun! Today, still the adoration is there. However, the meaning of celebration have changed somehow. For example, in my cooking dictionary Eid means sweets, desserts and huge amount of everything contains butter and sugar! On the other hand, Eid also means family gatherings, visiting people who you didn’t see for a long time and giving gifts to my younger brother and sisters.

These gifts are mainly given in a money form, which allows who receives it, to buy whatever they want or need! I remember when I was a child I used to count the amount of money I’ve collected from my father, mother, uncles and aunts every five minutes. At the end of the day, I would start to plan how to spend this money and where. The most interesting thing is that whatever was the amount of money I’ve collected, I always felt very very rich .. I always felt that I can buy anything I want at anytime. And until today I still feel the same feeling.

What I love most about celebrating Eid, is that it always reminds me of my childhood and the old days which brings me joy! In someway it connects me to those memories. There was a saying I used to hear when I was small .. “Eid is mainly for kids”

Yesterday, was the second day of Eid. The most special thing about this kind of holidays is the social activity you do, and the variety of food you eat! Seriously, when you think of it you will find that holiday won’t be a holiday without these three basic elements; family and friends gatherings, gifts, and eating something delicious.

And since I’m celebrating Eid these days, I decided to do the following .. there will be a separate section for Eid recipes only, which you can refer to whenever you want to celebrate any special events. And my plan is to post three different kind of desserts that I really love, and in the same time fits this kind of occasions.

My first recipe is this one .. my best strawberry cheesecake I ever done! I always thought that making a prefect cheesecake is a difficult task to do! However, after doing the homemade marshmallows I gained a lot of courage and I decided to face my biggest challenge. I discovered later that baking a cheesecake is the most easiest thing to do in your kitchen! The only thing that you have to put in mind is that >> good cheesecake needs a lot of time in baking!

If you are a beginner in the “cheesecake baking world” you will learn cool stuff while following the recipe steps. I’ve tried my best to make each step as clear as possible.

And one more thing before going to the recipe .. if you wanna get a delicious homemade cheesecake, it is preferable to make it one day in advance! You can consider this to be tip number one in getting prefect cheesecake 101.

Remember .. enjoy and have fun while baking yours ..

The real story is about to begin .. Once upon a time there was a

Strawberry Cheese Cake

adapted from allrecipes.com, serves 12.

Shopping List

1 1/2 cups McVitie’s Biscuits crumbs*

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed** (I’ve used fresh strawberries and added 1/4 cup sugar)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 eggs

1 tablespoon water

4 fresh strawberries cut in halfs

Making the cheesecake

Preheat your oven to 300 °F.

1 1/2 cups McVitie’s Biscuits crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

In a medium size mixing bowl combine McVitie’s Biscuits crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Press it evenly across the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed

Using a blender, commix strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until getting smooth strawberry puree. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry puree to cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining puree for serving.

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add lemon juice;make sure that the batter is mixed well. Add eggs, beat again on low speed just until combined. Make sure not to over beat! Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the biscuits crust.
Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over the strawberry puree. Drop remaining strawberry puree by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top.With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry puree.
Wrap aluminum foil completely around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the spring form pan. Place the cheesecake into a jellyroll pan (or any baking pan with sides) .Use a teakettle to fill the outer pan with hot water,and place the pans into the oven. Bake for about 1½ hours, start to check the cheesecake after 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. This step is critical and it differs depending on the oven in use.
It can be difficult to judge whether the cheesecake is done or not. One way to check for doneness is to insert a small toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out semi-clean, then this means that the cake is done.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for an additional one 1 1/2 hours to ensure that it sets completely.
Take the cheesecake out and cool for one hour, then place it in the refrigerator for another four hours.
Carefully run a small wet knife with water around the edge of the pan to loosen any bits that might stick to the pan. Unclip the clasp at the side of the pan, watching for any areas that stick. Carefully lift the outer ring over the top of the cake.

1 tablespoon water

Serving plate

4 fresh strawberries cut in halfs

Invert a plate covered with a sheet of waxed paper over the pan. Tip the cake pan over the plate, and remove the pan. Invert a serving plate over the bottom of the cheesecake, and flip it over. Remove the top plate and paper, trying not to peel off the “skin” on the surface of the cheesecake. Any imperfections can be covered by the chilled strawberry sauce thinned with water. Garnish with fresh strawberry halfs.

Note:

* I didn’t find graham cracker in Kuwait that’s why I’ve used McVitie’s Biscuits instead.

** (I’ve used fresh strawberries and added 1/4 cup sugar)

enjoy with love,

Maryam