Monday, December 2, 2013

New York Style Cheesecake

I'm beyond excited. 

Why you might ask? 

Well a few differently reasons. One being that it's December! So that brings me to my second reason I am excited...CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I am seriously like a little kid at heart when it comes to Christmas. I love just everything about it. I always have. I am one of those people who will listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving....judge me. If I could, I'd even decorate before Thanksgiving. I'm not crazy, I just love the season. It's just filled with warmth, joy, and happiness. 

Pretty lights, decorations, and music all help the season seem magical as well. 
Caleb and I have a tradition of driving around and looking at Christmas lights. Last year is probably one of my favorite memories because it was Christmas Eve and snowing so we looked at lights on the way home. It was just so fun. I could probably go on and on about everything that I love about Christmas, but I think you get the idea :) 

But I'm even more excited to share with you a cheesecake recipe!!! Earlier this year I experimented with making a dairy free "cheesecake" that was more of a tart. I made it out of cashews. It was okay, but it wasn't that cheesecake I was looking for. And this time of year, I really think cheesecakes are very appropriate. 

I decided to just dive head first into making a dairy free cheesecake, just by following a regular cheesecake and substituting the cream cheese for a dairy free version. And making the crust gluten free of course. Oh a side note...I've never made a new york style cheesecake....only non baked cheesecakes in the past. So this all was very new to me. 

Baking this cheesecake was pretty nerve-racking. I had no idea what to look for if it was done. Yes, I have a passion for baking and have baked a lot. But cheesecakes are just something that I rarely ever made. Only ate ;) 

I found a pretty easy recipe off of the King Arthur Flour website. I'll link it below. I looked up dairy free recipes for cheesecake, but they all had way to many ingredients and it just seemed to complicated. I'm a very simple person when it comes to baking. And sometimes less ingredients is more. 

I might have over baked it? I'm not an expert on cheesecake by any means. 

Could it be?! Actual cheesecake?! I haven't had cheesecake in about three years. Wow, that's sad. 

But after letting it sit in the fridge over night. The texture was perfect. It was exactly how cheesecake should be. Well from what I remember it to be. But everyone who tried it really liked it. Except they ate it kind of warm still. But hey, that means it was good! I'm so happy how it turned out. Now I have an amazing cheesecake recipe for Christmas. 


Cherries on top makes it look much prettier! 


New York Style Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs 
1/4 Cup 10x Sugar 
1/3 Cup Coconut oil 

Filling

2 Packages Go Veggie Classic Plain Cream Cheese 
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Sugar.
1 Tsp Vanilla 

Topping

1 Can of Pie Filling 
Or you can certainly add any topping you prefer. Homemade topping would defiantly taste a lot better.

Directions (Taking from the website) 

1) Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9", and whose height is at least 1 1/4". Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2) Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing till thoroughly combined.
3) Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.
4) Make the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients till smooth. Use a mixer set at low-medium speed. If your cream cheese is at room temperature, this will go fairly smoothly (pun intended). If the cream cheese is cold, it'll take much more mixing to create a smooth filling.
5) Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.
6) Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the crust 1" from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won't look entirely set in the center. **** I ended up baking this for 45 min. So keep a very close eye on it***
7) Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the topping. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, till you're ready to serve it.
*It is best if you refrigerate this for a few hours, or even better overnight. Since the cream cheese is a different consistency than normal. It needs more time to set. 

I used Go Veggie Classic style cream cheese because it has the closest flavor to cream cheese that I have tried recently. And it turned out very well! I'm very pleased with this cream cheese. 



Enjoy!!