Monday, January 10, 2011

orange you glad i made cheesecake


My mother saw this cheesecake in Sunset magazine, one of our favorites, and insisted that we needed to give it a try. I am a bit of a cheesecake snob, probably because I do not particulaly love cheesecake....I know...I know...what is there not to love? I'm not sure. It's not that I don't like it, it is that I don't love it...and it is usually one of the last things on the menu I order. When the Cheesecake Factory opened in our city, I was less than enthused...I did finally go and loooooved their Asian Chicken Salad, but have yet to have any of their cheesecake. Stange I know. If do eat cheesecake, I have pretty stringent rules...lol of course I do. My personal preference is that (a) the crust must be as tasty as the filling...graham cracker bores me. (b) It must be sweet, but not too sweet...I hate that feeling that your cheeks and teeth get when I have has too sweet of a dessert. (c) It must cut nicely...now I know that this is where many will differ from me, but I'd rather it be firmer than creamy...if you can't cut it nicely, what is the purpose? When I worked in the restaurant business, I do feel that I perfected my cheesecake recipe. So, when my mom proposed a new cheesecake, I was weary. Immediately, I scanned the recipe for ingredients. Graham Crackers! So of course I made a few adjustments. Mom is a bit of a recipe purist, so she wouldnt let me mess with it too much. Sunset puts out pretty great recipies though, so I wasn't too worried.

So, the few adjustments that I made are as follows:
1. Gingersnap crust- kindof cliche though, I think I would have preferred a a maccaroon cookie instead.
2. 3 tablespoons cornstarch instead of flour, just a personal prefference
3. added a teaspoon of salt to the batter, once again, just a personal prefference.
4. Blood oranges instead of Valencia, the store had beautiful blood oranges so we opted to use them instead. I personally felt the orange caramel sauce was very bitter. I am not sure if this was the result of using blood oranges. I ended up scrapping the sauce and starting over, not using the orange syrup.
5. as you can see, we decorated the cake just a bit different, adding some beautiful raspberries we had.

Overall, this was a pretty good recipe. It didn't steal my heart or anything, but everyone else raved about it. I really didn't like the caramel very much, it was bitter and pithy tasting to me, but I don't absolutely love candied citrus anyway...so maybe don't take me too seriously when it comes to the sauce. It definitaly yeilded a dramatic looking cheesecake, very elegant. It cut pretty good. I cut it when it was very cold with a warm wet knife and had to wipe the blade with every slice. It of course tasted better room temperature as most cheesecakes do, because it makes them more creamy. And finally, I thought it was much better the second day.

Orange Ribbon Cheesecake
Sunset magazine November 2007
Yield: Makes 12 servings
printable version

For topping
1 large thin-skinned orange, such as Valencia
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
For cheesecake
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, or 2 tsp. vanilla
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1. For topping: Rinse and dry orange. With a sharp knife, slice into thin rounds (between 1/8 and 1/16 in. thick; see Notes), discarding ends and seeds. In a deep 10-in. frying pan or pot over medium-high heat, stir sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, until they're slightly candied and translucent and liquid has the consistency of a thin syrup, about 20 minutes (there should be about 1/2 cup liquid in pan; if less, add enough hot water to make that amount and shake pan to mix water into syrup). Let cool in pan. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days.

2. For cheesecake: Preheat oven to 300°. Pour graham cracker crumbs into a 9-in. cheesecake pan with removable rim; add butter and mix. Press mixture evenly over bottom and 1/2 in. up sides of pan.

3. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in flour, sour cream, and liqueur just until incorporated. Pour into crust-lined pan.

4. Bake until center barely jiggles when cake is gently shaken, 60 to 70 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and pan rim. Cool completely at room temperature, then cover and chill until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

5. Remove pan rim. If any moisture collects on top of cake, gently blot dry. Gently lift candied orange slices from syrup, reserving syrup, and blot dry with a paper towel. Arrange slices, slightly overlapping, over top of cheesecake.

6. Measure orange juice. Bring reserved syrup to a boil over high heat. Stir occasionally until syrup is deep golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in orange juice (mixture will bubble up). Let cool to room temperature and generously brush over orange slices (you may have extra syrup).

7. Serve cheesecake, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Use a serrated knife to cut cake, wiping blade clean after each slice.

2 comments:

Stephanie McGee said...

You know, as yummy as that looks (and you know I love your food), I have to say my mom makes the best cheesecake. It's not NY style, which makes it a completely different entity so I can't compare it to anything else. But it's delicious. Someday I'll figure out how to make it.

Louanne said...

Love your knock-knock joke reference! I'm on the fence when it comes to cheesecake. I never order it as a dessert, but I'll it eat or make it if the husband requests it. This looks incredibly yummy, though, and I love the twist on the crust.