|Looks good to me.|
As far as the whole bacon thing goes. Well, I think I more than covered the wonders of my favorite pork product in my last Fun in the Kitchen post.
|Do not taunt the Bacon Eruption.|
Now, before we get going, I would highly recommend that you have two pieces of kitchen hardware. First, is a springform pan. It's basically a pie tin with sides that separate from the bottom. This will make things a heckuva lot easier when your cheesecake is done.
|The bottom and sides lock together to form a pie pan.|
|This ought to do the trick.|
For the Crust (oh, did I mention we'll be making our own crust?)
1 1/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs - about 10-12 crackers
5 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
1 tablespoon sugar
For the Filling
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese (5 packages)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg yolks (you know, just the yellow part)
1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
For the Creamy Chocolate Marble
1/4 cup heavy cream
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
|Filling on the left, chocolate marble in the middle and crust on the right.|
Sure, you could take the easy way out and just buy a pre-made crust, but where would the fun be in that? Making a crust from scratch is a piece of cake, uh...crust. Trust me. Just mix all 3 ingredients into a bowl and then dump it into the springform pan. Then, evenly flatten the mixture across the bottom of the pan. Any flat surface will do. I used a large measuring cup.
|Just squash it down in there.|
Set the crust aside and get ready to do some mixing.
The idea here is to just keep the mixer running and add the ingredients at regular intervals.
Minute 0: Start by cutting the cream cheese into smaller cubes and mixing them on low. I would recommend using the 'dough-hook' to start out, otherwise, you'll be cleaning out the beater every couple of seconds.
Minute 3: Add the salt and half of your sugar.
Minute 6: Add the rest of your sugar
Minute 9: The mixture will start to loosen up at this point, so go ahead and switch out the dough-hook for the standard mixer attachment. Then, you can add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
|The more ingredients you add, the more it will turn from lumpy to soupy. That's a good thing.|
Minute 15: Start adding the eggs - 2 every 30 seconds.
That's it. You're filling is mixed. Go ahead and pour it over the crust. Be gentle.
|The filling should just about top off the pan.|
The Chocolate Marble
Bring the heavy cream to a boil. Then, add the chocolate and reduce the heat. Whisk the in the chocolate and in just a couple of minutes, you'll have a wonderful milky mixture.
|I can't think of any dessert that melted milk chocolate won't make better.|
When you're happy with your marble, slide the pan into an oven set to 500 degrees. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 200. Now, the top of my cheesecake was a nice dark golden brown. If you want a lighter brown top, turn down the heat a couple minutes earlier.
Now, the filling is going to expand in the oven. After 1 1/2 hours, run a knife around the outside of the pan. Why? Well, the filling is going to expand in the oven. Later on, when it cools, it will contract again. If the sides of the filling are stuck to the pan, the filling will crack. You want a nice pretty cheesecake, don't you?
After another 90 minutes, carefully remove the pan and let it cool on a rack.
|Oops. I can see your crack!|
When you're ready to serve this puppy, let it warm up for about 30 minutes. To make the springform easier to remove, microwave a damp dishtowel and wrap it around the pan. After a couple of minutes, you can loosen the spring and carefully remove the pan. Then, you're ready to slice and serve. Enjoy!
|Ahh, vanilla and chocolate working together. Ain't diversity great?|
In any event, with Christmas just around the corner, you can look forward to some good down-home cooking. By which I mean food from the Homeland. That's right. Swedish food!