So everybody who knows us well enough know our deep, ardent love for the mighty cheesecake. The rich, creamy, melt in your mouth cheesecake. The yummy, rarely found, 'gimme more!' cheesecake. So what's better than trying to attempt your own cheesecake?
My favorites are the fruity ones: blueberry and strawberry being the favorites. and the strawberry cheesecake we tried almost a year back turned out okay for a first time. I mean, i was just getting used to baking in a water bath and i used cottage cheese (our very own paneer) instead of cream cheese, considering how overpriced philly cheese is here in India.
So i decided to not rest on my laurels and give the cheesecake another go. Fruits being terribly seasonal and moody, it is impossible to lay your hands on a fresh and fleshy lot of strawberries at this time of the year. so we decided to do the 'baap' of all cheesecakes, the oreo cheesecake. :) which was a tad intimidating but hey, can never say no to oreo cheesecakes. and as it turns out, it was not so difficult after all. I even started making my own cream cheese! how wonderful is that?!! can't stop grinning ear to ear thinking about it. That means that the previously closed doors of cream cheese frostings, cream cheese dips, and cheesecakes (to mention a few) are now open to us!! Man, that has got to be the achievement of the year in my kitchen calendar! :D...
So, enough of the prelude and onto the task at hand: The Oreo cheesecake. I adapted the recipe from here and made some of my own changes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-PHILLY-OREO-Cheesecake/Detail.aspx
Just a quick heads up, we'll be baking the cheesecake in a water bath. This is so that the cheesecake bakes gently without getting burnt on top and does not curdle.
You will need:
-less than an hour to prepare the cheesecake + another 8 hours before you can actually dig in (tastes best after leaving it in the refrigerator overnight)
-a 9" diameter spring form pan
-a flat bottomed baking tray that will hold water and fit the above mentioned pan comfortably and sit comfortably in your oven.
Ingredients for the crust:
-10 Oreo cookies
-3 tablespoons butter
Ingredients for the filling:
-600 gm cream cheese (we'll do the recipe for the cream cheese in another posting)
-1/2 cup fresh cream
-3/4 cup of granulated sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-7 oreo cookies
-juice from half a freshly squeezed lemon (optional)
Getting down to the nitty gritty (rubbing hands in glee...)
-Pre-heat the oven to 165 degrees C.
-Place the ten coreo cookies in a zip lock pouch and get rid of any air before sealing it. With a rolling pin, crush the cookies by rolling it over the zip lock bag. Place the fine crumbs in a bowl, mix in the butter and mix well. Press it down firmly into the bottom of the spring form pan.
-Place the pan in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 min.
In the meanwhile, we'll work on the filling.
-Take the cream cheese and make sure it is at room temperature and softened. To make sure there are no lumps, whir it in the blender once.
-Add the cream, the sugar and the vanilla essence to the cream cheese in the blender and blend it thoroughly at a low speed.
-Add the eggs one at a time while continuing to blend and blending just enough till the egg gets blended in with the rest of the mixture. The point is that you do not over beat as that can lead to cracked, dense cheesecakes.
-If you want it a tad lemony(just a hint of lemon) mix in the lemon juice at this point.
-Chop the remaining cookies and sprinkle into the mixture.
-Pour it into the prepared spring form pan with the prepared crust.
-Arrange the other remaining cookies on top of the cheesecake (yes it will stay on top and not sink)
Now, before popping it into the oven, check if your springform pan looks like it may leak the cheesecake mix into the water bath or if water may seep into the cheesecake. If so, not to worry. Seal the entire bottom of the spring form pan and halfway up the sides with aluminium foil. And we are good to go! Get the water bath ready by getting the other pan filled with water. Place the spring form pan in it and check if the water level is right. If you need to pour some more water to get the water level right, pop the water bath contraption (that would mean with the spring form pan) into the pre heated oven and using maybe a narrow mouthed bottle or a teakettle, pour in the desired amount of water. aaand you are good to bake.
Bake for about 35 - 40 min or till an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Take the spring form pan out of the water bath and strip it of the foil.
Keep aside to cool before popping it into the refrigerator for the overnight chilling. The cheesecake will have pulled away from the sides of the pan after that.
Unclip the clasp of the spring form and if you think the dosage of oreo was not enough, crush some more cookies and garnish on top. Like i say, it's yours to innovate.
And you have your Oreo cheesecake ready! Yay!! Happy cheesecaking! :)