Friday, November 9, 2012

A Happy Birthday Cheesecake :)

Hello Sweets,

I hope you all had a fantastic Friday,  It's my birthday today, although it doesn't really feel like it. Actually, this is the first year where I could have probably gone almost all day without hearing much of anything, with the exception of Facebook.  It hasn't really bothered me too much, but I'm not going to lie, there have been a couple of tears, but not because of me turning twenty-nine.  I'm really rather excited, like I always say; "women are like a fine wine, they only get better with age" ;) and I whole heartily believe this, but I think it's because I realize how much my health had really impacted my life.  Every year you grow a little more and learn new things, I always like to look back to when I was younger, and take an enormous amount of pride in how much I have changed for the better!

So what did I do for my birthday you ask?  Well I got all my weekend cleaning out of the way (this screams adult lol), and had a nice quite lunch at home by myself, and then I made myself a delicious cheesecake from an old family recipe, with a couple of "jennifications" of course.  Now as I start writing this post, the cheesecake is cooling in the refrigerator (hardest part of any dessert is the waiting), and by the time I post this, you will see a picture of me enjoying the fruits of my labor as my birthday treat.  I also believe that you truly cannot celebrate your birthday without having either your favorite meal or dessert, so as of right now I have yet to celebrate my birthday, but I will by 10pm.  Okay on to the good stuff, that which we will call the "Happy Birthday Cheesecake", and only because I made it for my birthday lol there is no birthday cake flavors to it :p

Canuckette's Cheesecake 
1 1/2C graham cracker crumbs (I used whole then used a food processor)
1/2C Pecans, finely chopped
1/2C Walnuts, finely chopped
1/2Tsp Cinnamon
1/2Tsp Nutmeg
1/3C butter, melted
4-8 ounce pkgs of Cream Cheese
1 1/4C Granulated sugar
1/2C Sour Cream
2Tsp Vanilla extract
5 Eggs
1/2C Sour Cream
2Tsp Granulated sugar
Optional Garnish: Whip Cream (I opted for my signature Cherry topping)

1)  Preheat oven to 475F, place a large pan or oven-safe skillet (that the cheesecake pan will fit inside), filled with about 1/2 inch of water, into the oven while it preheats.  This will be your water bath.
my cheesecakes bath

2)  Combine all the dry ingredients for the crust into a medium bowl, mix in the melted butter.  Press the crumb into a 9" spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and sides with parchment paper (I don't have a spring form pan, but you can use a regular cake pan or pie tin if you're going to serve directly from it).  Use the bottom of a glass to press the crumb mix flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 up the side.  Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake dry when in the water bath in the oven.  Put the crust in your freezer until your filling is complete.

The smell of the graham/nut crust is divine

3)  Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla; blending until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.  Be sure, as always, to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, and then add them to the cream cheese mixture.  Blend the mixture just long enough to integrate the eggs, over mixing will cause the cheesecake to crack

All the creamy goodness :)

4)  Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into it.  Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath.  Bake for 12 minutes at 475F, then turn down the oven to 350F, and bake for 50-60 minutes (it will be down once the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown color).  Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool.
Mmmm mmm YUM!!

5)  When the cheesecake has cooled, combine the sour cream and sugar for the topping.  Spread the sweetened sour cream over the entire top surface of the cheesecake.  Cover and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Makes about 12 servings.
Now the final wait begins

Once of the hardest parts about making cheesecake is waiting for it to be completely cooled before eating, if you don't let it cool completely it won't set in the middle and will be runny and no one likes a runny cheesecake lol!

So thus ends my birthday baking, :) of course it tastes delicious, I did make it after all lol.  But seriously I think one of the best things you can learn when baking is to bake with confidence, and even when things don't turn up roses, knowing that you gave it your best is really the only thing that matters.  Also trying to determine the point of your mistake, and learning from it, there is never a wrong turn in a recipe only lessons to be learned. 
first piece didn't cut so pretty but it tastes pretty good :)

Now I'm going to enjoy the rest of my piece of birthday cheesecake, I really think they should replace birthday cake with cheesecake, after all it is much more enjoyable :)   Until next time......
mmmm happy birthday to me!!

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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