Who knew it, Tampa Bay Florida has a Cheesecake Day! April 11th’s got my two favorite words, cheese and cake, sharing a day of celebration. Sweet! It is when families should take a break from their busy routines and have fun with good conversation and an awesome dessert. BTW, this goes great with ice cold chamomile tea, lemonade and any kind of cake really… we like to mix it up!

Baked_cheesecake_with_raspberries_and_blueberriesCheesecake is a dessert consisting of a mixture of  cheese, eggs, and sugar; often on a crust or base made from crushed cookies, crackers, pastry or sponge cake. It is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, fruit sauce and/or chocolate.

Almost all modern cheesecakes in the United States and Canada use cream cheese; in Italy, cheesecakes use ricotta; Germany, the Netherlands and Poland use quark. Cheesecakes are most easily baked in a leak-proof springform pan, often paired with a water bath to more evenly distribute the heat. Because of the high density of most cheesecakes, they continue baking for some time after removal from an oven.

CheesecakeDayLocationsIf you want to join the Tampa celebration, here are a few locations where it’s told Cheesecake can be found. You got to figure out the best spots, but we got some hints*

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • A Better Cheesecake Inc.
  • Housewife Bake Shop
  • IHOP
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Publix Supermarket and other grocery stores alike
  • And my absolute favorite, at home! Yep, you can bake this one yourself… it’s really not that difficult [ok, maybe it is :P]

    Here’s a fun fact: most celebrate the day with other types of cake, cupcakes, muffins and it’s all fun.

    Want to take a shot at cheesecake? I will let the best chef I know tell you how.

 

Alton_brownSour Cream Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Read more at Food Network

 

Ingredients

Crust:
33 graham cracker squares, crumbled
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional, for brushing the pan
1 tablespoon sugar

Filling:
20 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Brush some of the melted butter around a 9 by 3-inch cake pan. Adhere parchment to the bottom and the sides.

In a small bowl, combine crumbled graham crackers, the remaining melted butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. Place remaining crumbs on a sheet pan and bake both the crust and the remaining mixture for 10 minutes. Cool. Reserve additional crumb mixture for sides.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.

In a separate container, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the liquid mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once completely combined, pour into the cooled crust.

Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath, in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for one more hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.

When ready to serve, place the entire cake pan into a hot water bath for about 15 seconds. Unmold onto a cake round or serving dish. Take the remaining graham cracker mixture and press into the sides of the cake.

To slice, place your knife into a hot water bath and wipe dry each time you make a pass through the cake.

Enjoy!

 

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