I'm tired. And generally out-of-sorts. It seems like I have no patience at all lately, especially with my children. And it's really been bugging me that I couldn't figure out what's been making me so ill-tempered. And then, this morning, it hit me. I really, really miss my mom.
I think it's been lurking in the back of my mind for quite a while. I'm used to not seeing her much, since I only visit my family once or twice a year. But I hate that I can't just pick up the phone and call her. And of course, the times when I'm frustrated with the girls are the worst, since that's when I would call her the most.
*sigh* This doesn't have much to do with baking, except that my mom is the reason I love to bake. She taught me a lot, and was willing to let me try new things (in life in general, not just in the kitchen). And it really hurts that my daughters won't get to learn the things from her that I did.
Maybe I'll feel better now that I've gotten some of that out. Thanks for listening. =) Now on to the cheesecake!
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Anne Strawberry. She picked Tall and Creamy Cheesecake. I really wanted to give the recipe a try, but knew that we really didn't need a full-sized cheesecake around here with all the other leftover Christmas goodies. (Unlike my first Dorie cheesecake. I've since learned that it's fine to make smaller versions of things.) So I decided to halve the recipe and make it in my 7-inch springform pan. It fit quite well. Fortunately, the quantities in the recipe lent themselves to easy division by two. =)
I had leftover Oreos in my freezer (from the peanut butter torte--yes, I had them in there for over six months without eating them =) ), so I used them for the crust. I thought about trying one of the filling variations, but was too tired to mess around with anything, so I stuck to the plain recipe. I did add about a tablespoon of lemon juice, since I like how the tartness cuts through all the cream cheese. And I used all sour cream (no heavy cream). My favorite cheesecake is from Rose Levy Beranbaum, and actually uses more sour cream than cream cheese. My stand mixer made short work of mixing the batter.
I had to guess a bit at the baking time. I like my cheesecake creamy and not too dense, so I didn't want to overbake it or let it brown on top. For my smaller pan, I baked it in its water bath at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes. It was somewhat set, but still jiggly in the middle. Then I turned off the oven and left it in for about 40 minutes longer, until the middle was pretty set. I should have let it cool on the counter for a while, but this was at 11pm last night, so I just stuck it in the fridge and went to bed.
Plain cheesecake isn't very interesting to photograph, so I mixed up some chocolate raspberry sauce to go with it. =) I started with a recipe for chocolate sauce from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet, and played around with it. For the raspberry part, I mixed in several tablespoons of raspberry fruit butter and added a splash of light rum to bring out the flavor a bit more. Yummy.
The verdict? Ooh, delicious. The cheesecake has a bit more body to it than my usual one--still creamy, but not quite as silky a texture. But quite tasty! How can you go wrong with Oreo crust? And the chocolate sauce made for a nice contrast. We'll see how the other taste testers like it later...
You can find the recipe at Anne's blog. This one lends itself to all sorts of neat variations, so I can definitely see myself making it again. Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll for lots of other wonderful cheesecakes!