How To Make Valentine’s Day Dessert
Become a pro at baking this popular desert with a detailed guide on how to get the right texture, taste, lightness and creaminess.
Preparation Time- 60 minutes
Baking Time- 45 minutes
Total Time- 1 hour, 45 minutes
Reduced fat or regular cream cheese (500 grams)
Graham flour/ crackers or Marie or Mcvities digestive biscuits (200 grams)
Sugar, granulated cane (50 grams)
Plain, room temperature butter (80 grams)
Strawberries whole (four cups)
Corn starch (one tablespoon)
Ground cinnamon (duo teaspoons)
Vanilla extract (one tablespoon)
Lemon juice (30 milliliters)
Non-fat or regular condensed milk (450 ml)
Water (a tablespoon)
The crust preparation commences by thoroughly mixing together the crumbled crackers, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, melted butter and sugar. The combined mixture must then be pressed onto the base of a non-greased nine-inch round springform pan (detachable side and base) which is widely utilized for cheesecake preparations. Place under refrigeration for thirty minutes.
We now proceed with preparing the strawberry sauce by blending the fruits along with two tablespoons sugar and cornstarch till one gets a smoothened mix. Empty it into a pot containing a tablespoon of water and then bring it to boiling point and mix for about two to three minutes. Around one-third cup of the fruit sauce must be kept aside and cooled. The remnant sauce must be covered and kept under refrigeration for use when you serve the end product.
Ensure softening the cream cheese by microwaving it for thirty to forty-five seconds prior to use. The filling is made by beating the cream cheese to further soften and fluff it up with air. Next the condensed milk must be slowly incorporated followed by the lemon juice, vanilla extract and combine thoroughly.
The batter must be mixed properly to eliminate any lumpiness in the cream cheese prior to addition of the eggs. Until this stage one can deploy an electric beater/mixer but once the eggs are added then manually fold them in gently for some seconds to prevent bubble formations so that one gets an even finish and lush creaminess in the cheesecake. Eggs must always be the final addition to the batter since they would be holding air in the cheesecake batter hence the least extent of mixing is important once they are added.
Never over-beat the batter as it tends to incorporate more air into it which then escapes out during baking and leads to cracks on the cheesecake’s surface. On cooling the cheesecake there is some extent of shrinkage, hence you must slather a generous amount of grease to the sides of the baking tin prior to adding batter. Doing this would help the cheesecake in pulling away from the tin while cooling and shrinking rather than pulling away from the central part.
Partially empty one half of the batter on top of the refrigerated crust that we earlier prepared. Half amount of the fruit sauce must now be poured over the cheesecake batter in half teaspoonful quantities. The rest of the batter must now be meticulously poured, followed by the remnant glaze. With the help of a pointed object like toothpick begin swirling the sauce to form little hearts over the surface.
Use the water bath approach to bake cheesecake as it avoids cracks from developing. For this a bulky aluminum foil must be wrapped all about the sides and base of the baking (springform) pan containing the crust base and batter to stop any seepage when the cheesecake bakes. This pan must then be placed into a bigger and deeper pan (more than three inches depth-wise) that is filled just midway up the outer side of the baking pan with searing water.
This must now be gently slid into a preheated oven set at 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (maximum limit) for about forty-five to fifty minutes. The baking periods will differ according to the oven used but remember that the cheesecake keeps baking even after removal from the oven hence there must be slight moisture in the central part of the cheesecake when it is about to be taken out from the oven.
Once out of the oven the cheesecake must be loosened from the edges of the baking pan by passing a knife tip amid the upper edging of the cheesecake and the pan sides. This facilitates the cheesecake in pulling apart from the pan while cooling. The cake must be brought to room temperature and then the side lightly loosened from the pan using a knife edge whilst one gradually releases the clamp of the baking pan. The side of the springform pan must be warily removed.
The aluminum foil must ideally be taken off once the cake has totally chilled under refrigeration for a minimum of four hours or all night. Add a decadent touch by topping the cheesecake with chocolate-coated strawberries just prior to serving.
Photo Credit: Indiasflower.com/products/1-Kg-Strawberry-Cheese-Cake-%28Limited-Cities%29.html