PERFECT CHEESECAKE ~ BAKING PARTNER’S CHALLENGE #9

We had many scrumptious choices this month – too many – hard to choose just one. It was a beautiful and classic cheesecake, tangy and sweet, with a velvety smooth and rich texture.I added my homemade caramel sauce and served it for Easter.
Perfect Cheesecake.jpg
adapted from Perfect Cheesecake by Simply recipes for Baking Partners GROUP

Crust
2 cups of Graham cracker crumbs (I used a combo of ginger snaps and vanilla wafers)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted

Filling
32 ounces cream cheese at room temperature and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of Sea salt
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
4 large eggs
2/3 cup regular sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Topping – I omitted to help cut down on the cholesterol since I was adding the caramel sauce
2 cups regular sour cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

CRUST PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place a 9 inch spring form pan on a large sheet of heavy duty foil.  Smooth foil up the sides rolling at the top edge.  You are basically making your pan water proof.
  • Grind the graham crackers and/or ginger snaps in a food processor until finely ground.
  • In a large bowl stir together the crackers, sugar and salt. With your hands blend in the melted butter until you have a uniform consistency.
  • Press the cracker crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared springform pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

FILLING PREPARATION

  • Cream the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and beat for a few minutes more.
  • Add the salt and vanilla, beating until well blended after each addition.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
  • Add the sour cream, beating until well blended.
  • Add the heavy cream, beating until well blended.
  • Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl scraping up any thicker bits of cream cheese that has stuck to the sides or bottom.

BAKING

  • Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan.
  • Pour about 2 quarts of boiling water around the pan.
  • Pour the prepared cream cheese filling into the springform pan over the cracker crust.
  • Smooth the filling level.
  • Bake on the lower rack of your oven.
  • Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan creating a water bath for the cheesecake. Pour enough water to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Turn off the oven.
  • Crack open the oven door 1-inch or so, and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Slow cooling this way helps prevent cracking in the cheesecake.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and discard the foil.
  • With a fresh piece of foil, tent the cheesecake so that the foil doesn’t actually touch the cheesecake.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.

TOPPING PREPARATION

  • In a large mixing bowl cream together the sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla, until well blended.
  • Chill topping mixture until you are ready to serve the cake.

PREPARE THE CAKE FOR SERVING

  • Run a table knife around the inside edge of the spring form pan to release anything that might have stuck during baking.
  • Remove outer pan ring.
  • Spread the sour cream topping evenly on cheesecake.
  • Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.
  • Enjoy.

CARAMEL SAUCE
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water

  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
  • Serve warm.

Makes 1 1/2 cups. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
NOTE: Microwave20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving.



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BASIC BREAD ~ BAKING PARTNERS CHALLENGE #8

BakingPartnersButton2-1BreadWe are going to try two method of bread making one is Asian method Tangzhong and other is Scandinavian method of Scald flour. These are two are really easy to put together. For this challenge you have to try one of the methods and make bread, if you want to try both methods that are also welcome. Tangzhong method gives very soft bread. Scalded flour method usually is used to try whole grains like rye, millet, buckwheat etc… You can make white bread with that technique too.  I made the White bread Scandinavian method of Scald flour.

Scalded flour bread Adapted from Cornercafe via Baking Partners

Makes one 23cm x 10cm x 10cm loaf

[Ingredients] Scalded Flour: 100g bread flour 100ml boiling water

Main Dough: 350g bread flour 20g (2 tablespoons) milk powder 35g caster sugar 5g (1 teaspoon) salt 8g instant yeast 200ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary 35g butter, chopped into small pieces at room temperature http://cornercafe.wordpress.com/

[Preparation] Scalded Flour: Pour boiling hot water all at once over the flour and stir quickly with a pair of chopsticks (or fork) until combined with no more visible dry flour. It should be a doughy clumpy mixture at this stage. Set aside for 5 minutes for the dough clusters to fully absorb the heat and the moisture. Then cover with cling film and let cool to room temperature, about 1/2 hour, or up to 1 hour.

For the Main Dough: 1. Prepare a 23cm (L) x 10cm (W) x 10cm (H) loaf tin. Sift bread flour, milk powder, caster sugar and salt onto the working surface. Add instant dry yeast and mix well. Form the flour mixture into a well. Add scalded flour mixture, then gradually add just enough lukewarm water to form into a slightly sticky, soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. During hand kneading, the dough also needs to be thrown onto the working surface once every few minutes between kneading to improve the dough structure. (I usually just pick up the dough to about head-high and throw it down onto the working surface 10 to 20 times every few minutes between kneading.) 2. Knead in butter until incorporated. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until double in size in a large greased bowl, cover with cling film (should take about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months). To test if the dough has risen properly, dip a finger into bread or plain flour and poke down into the centre of the dough as far as your finger will go and pull out again – the hole should remain if it is ready. If the dough springs back, then it is not ready, continue to prove further. 3. Punch down, knead briefly and form into a ball shape. Then let rest for 15 minutes. 4. with a rolling pin, roll out into a long oval shape. Then roll up from the short end like a Swiss roll. Rest 10 minutes and repeat the rolling process, then place the roll-up dough into the tin. 5. Cover loosely and let rise until the dough has risen to almost the top of the tin. 6. Bake in preheated 175°C oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Taste: Soft white bread loaf that stays soft for at least 2-3 days Consume: Best within 3-4 days Storage: May be frozen to keep longer, defrost before serving

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