For this month, and until the end of baking through Great Cakes by Carole Walter we are doing things a little differently in the Cake Slice Bakers. Instead of voting and and everyone baking the same cake we are choosing between a few different cakes, and each member can bake the one that appeals to them the most. This is quite exciting, and has never been done before in this group. I am really looking forward to seeing which cake each person made.
After looking at the choices I was quite torn between two cakes. In the end time won out and I went with the cake that I am actually quite familiar with. I bake cheesecakes all the time, although I have never made a Manhattan Cheesecake which has whipped egg whites added to it before baking which makes it very light and creamy.
Another first for me was making the cheesecake filling in a food processor. My cheesecakes are usually made in my KitchenAid, but I always find that there is a "problem spot" in the bowl of my mixer where the beater blade does not quite seem to reach, resulting in a lump of cream cheese that needs to be mixed in by hand. I have to say that I loved the ease of the food processor and the batter certainly turned out very smooth so this may very well be my new method for assembling the filling. My cheesecake did take longer than the allotted time, and was way more jiggly in the center than I wanted so I baked it for about another 15 minutes. This recipe produces a lovely creamy cheesecake, but it is much softer than what I am used to. Rather than make the topping as suggested in the book I decided to top it with some fresh berries, which turned out to be the perfect foil for the richness of the cheesecake.
(Printer Friendly Recipe)
- 10 double graham crackers (enough to make 1½ cups of crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- 1½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar, divided
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon rind
- 1½ teaspoons freshly grated orange rind
- 3 large egg whites
- Break the crackers into the container of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until you get fine crumbs.
- Pour in the melted butter, pulsing just to blend.
- Empty the crumbs into the springform pan. Using a spoon, press a thick layer of crumbs against the sides extending about ⅔ of the way up. Using a flat-bottomed glass, press the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan. Be sure to flatten the crumbs with sides meet the bottom. Refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 325℉ and prepare a 9-inch springform pan by wrapping the base in foil.
- Wash the processor bowl and steel blade.
- Put the cream cheese and ¾ cup of sugar in processor and process for 15 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl and process 5 seconds longer. While the machine is running, pour the egg yolks through the feeder tube and process 10 seconds.
- Add the cream, vanilla, and lemon and orange rinds. Process 10 seconds longer.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
- Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the whites are shiny (about 1 minute).
- Fold ¼ of the cheese mixture into the whites taking about 10 turns to lighten. Fold in the remaining cheese mixture, taking an additional 30 turns.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- At the end of the baking time, turn off heat and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 additional hour.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on the cake rack to cool for at least 3 hours, then refrigerate until ready to decorate.
- Decorate with blueberries and strawberries (optional).
Recipe from Great Cakes by Carole Walter
You can check out all of the cakes made by my fellow Cake Slice Bakers by clicking here, or just click on the pictures below. Also, remember to come and join us on our Facebook page where we share not only each months cakes but also baking tips and other goodies that have been baked by our members.