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Saturday, December 07, 2019

As Shevuos approaches, we look forward to yet another Yom Tov spent with family and friends. Who doesn’t anticipate the one dessert which is almost synonymous to the holiday itself, cheesecake?  There are people who prepare it in a variety of ways, yet however it is made it seems to be a favorite of all, as it captures both the texture and flavor that we look for in our Shevuos dairy delight.

If you have never made a cheesecake before, don’t worry; it’s not hard and you will feel so accomplished once you take that first bite.

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (see note)

6 Tablespoons margarine or butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon of water

Mix well and spread over the bottom of a spring form pan.  Be sure to spray the sides of the pan with a cooking oil spray or grease with butter or margarine.

Note:  In lieu of this crust, you can use broken frozen chocolate cake just for the purpose of making crust.  Spread it out on the bottom of the pan and spray it with Pam; you can use a bit of margarine if you’d like instead.  Baking not needed. Prepare crust in pie plate and fill, then bake.

The filling:

4 8 oz packages of cream cheese

1 pint sour cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 tablespoons of flour

Cream sugar and cream cheese.  Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, and then flour.  Pour into crumb lined pan. Place the cheesecake in a Bain Marie (Water Bath). To make a Bain Marie take a large foil pan that will hold your spring-form pan with inches to spare, and pour an inch or two of water into it.  Carefully place the cheese-filled spring-form pan into the water.  This method helps prevent cracks in the top of the cheesecake. You can wrap foil along the outside of the spring-form pan to prevent leakage. Secure with duct tape.

Bake at 370 degrees for 90 minutes.  Open oven door to broil position (approx 1/3 of the way) and leave cake to cool for an additional 90 minutes.

Topping:

1 pint sour cream

5 tablespoons sugar

Mix well and pour in center of cooled cake.  Spread toward the edge of cake. Bake 10 minutes at 350. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

Chocolate Cheese Cake

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (see note above for chocolate crust)

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup brewed strong coffee

3/4 lb cream cheese

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup cherry pie filling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  In bowl, stir crumbs and sugar; add butter and 1 tbs. water.  Mix well.

Grease the sides of an 8 or 9 inch spring-form pan with butter or margarine or spray with Pam. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides.

Reduce oven temp to 300.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler, heat chocolate chips and coffee over lowest heat.  Stir often until melted 7-9 minutes.  Set aside.

In mixer, beat cream cheese until creamy.  Add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat at medium speed 1 minute.  Scrape down sides and add eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate mixture. Mix until fully incorporated. Pour batter into crust.

Bake 1 hour. Turn oven off.  Let cake sit in oven for 20 minutes. Remove; cool another 20 minutes. Refrigerate one hour or more. At this time, you can put cherry pie filling on top or decorate with whipped cream if you so desire.  Use your imagination.

Note:  You can make a pareve chocolate cheese cake using Tofutti Cream Cheese and it comes out great!!!

Happy Shevuos and enjoy!

By Gail Hochman