Tag Archives: cheesecake

The Best Raspberry Cheesecake

I was at a great party last night and brought this cheesecake and it went down tremendously well. There is nothing more gratifying than someone saying they don’t like something normally, but that they like this one you have made so much that they want the recipe. This is especially nice as cheesecake doesn’t always work out. It’s got a bad reputation for cracking, collapsing, undebaking, overbaking, burning…in fact I’m pretty sure the few times growing up I ever heard my mother say the word “fuck!” It was when a cheesecake was coming out of the oven.

This makes a very large party sized cheesecake, but if you would like to do the more reasonable home version I suppose, follow this link. I have made a few small changes to my recipe below. The linked recipe has a weirdly small amount of cookie crumbs, and I like to use vanilla sugar ( just pop a slit vanilla bean in a container of sugar and shake occasionally. Keep topping up the sugar, it will keep flavoring and scenting the sugar for years). I also like to whip the egg whites before incorporating as I like to try to get a little lightness into it any way I can.

Baked Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients
about 30 digestive biscuits (or half a sleeve)
70g butter , melted
900g cream cheese or 4 packages
3 tbsp corn starch
263g sugar or vanilla sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
210 ml sour cream
450g raspberries or 3 little grocery store punets
2 tbsp raspberry jam

Heat the oven to 180C/350F. Crush digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with melted butter. Press into a 24cm/10″ springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Beat cream cheese with cornstarch, sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks and sour cream until light and fluffy (you can use the rinsed food processor for this). Whip the whites until firm and fold into the cheese mixture. Stir in 1 punet raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 60 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the oven with the door ajar to cool.

Using the remaining raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a sieve with the jam and force and stir though. Serve the cheescake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries.

There is no calorie count as it would make your head explode. Besides, raspberry are good for you. Fruit! When you think about it, this is practically breakfast food.

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Cheesecake: a Dense Example of Economics and Pleasure at Work in Modern Society

I had an interesting conversation with some co-workers yesterday. We got on the subject of the four basic emotions. All emotions, it is theorized, stem from four; Joy, Fear, Anger and Sorrow. It makes sense. But something one of my co-workers said stuck with me. He said “Really only three are necessary for survival”. I argued that that can’t be right, as we need to feel pleasure for doing the good things that keep us alive, like eating and reproducing, just as much as we need to feel fear of a predator or anger at an aggressive bit of prey while hunting. But isn’t that an interesting thing to say? Where would the idea come from that Joy is not necessary for survival? Well maybe he had eaten dessert in a restaurant recently.

Friends, we have a problem in this country. And it’s a problem that affects all but the most lactose intolerant of us. The problem is bad cheesecake. I know that the economy, poverty, animal abuse, should be riding higher in my list of outrages. But bad cheesecake speaks to the heart of the problem with our idea of pleasure as a society. Restaurant dessert is BAD people, real bad. It is treated by most places with such second class disdain. Ordered in frozen slabs, thawed out in a microwave, given a blob of jam or a blast of tinned whip oil product, and flung at us at great disrespect at $7.00 and upwards a plate. Our restaurants have managed to ruin something once so emblematic to entire idea of decadence, of luxury, of eating for the sake of something other than pure sustenance. The question is why is this OK with everyone?

Blame the 80’s dieting ethos perhaps. It’s no mistake this idea of dessert being unnecessary, unhealthy, sinful, and wrong. How many articles in Shape magazine revolved around the evils of sugar, dairy, butter, white flour? I even remember one about the evils of too much fruit. After a good two hours of Flashdancing it would have been unthinkable to ruin it all with a fat slab of 800 calories worth of full fat cream cheese on a cookie crust. There was too much spandex, skinny acid wash jean, and off the shoulder to wear to not arobicize like a maniac.

It looks like some things have held over from the 80’s other than what’s currently being sold at American Apparel. The idea is still ingrained in us not to have dessert. In fact in discussing the concept of this article with some friends last night (all of whom, as an important side note, work out and do yoga) they all claimed to “not really like dessert stuff” and very rarely eat it. But when just the subject of sweets came up there was a wave of stories of the best desserts they have ever eaten. A perfect Creme Brule eaten the week previous. Homemade waffle cones. Brownies with ice cream. It became very clear very soon that they did indeed need and love dessert, but they felt compelled, perhaps socially obligated to claim that they didn’t.

So what do we gain by not eating dessert? Weight loss, in theory. Maybe a sense of fit smugness that we are above such things as white flour and chocolate. Conforming to the mass majority who say that dessert is effectively off limits. But if we did not effectively need dessert, on an emotional , social, perhaps even fundamental level, then aspartame would straight up not exist. Or Splenda, arguably the mellower, somehow less deviant sister sweetener. Is there any better example of societies needs to have ones cake and eat it too? As if we are somehow getting one over on our own bodies, tricking it into being thin. Well after all these years of being heavily promoted in the marketplace, all we have is people who weigh more than ever before, and even support groups for people who claim to have dire side effects from artificial sweeteners. Side effects including, and the mind spins at this one, weight gain.

So what is one to do about the sad situation of sweets? How about eat better treats less often? Don’t begrudgingly down a cake or something just because it’s the one provided. And when you order a dessert and its bad, don’t settle. Let them know. You’ve been seduced into ordering it since you entered the restaurant, if it’s rubbish, complain. After all, it’s the last thing you eat before you decide how much to tip. And if you are a lover of all things sweet and are ready to stand up and unblushingly admit it, I have a few suggestions. The cheesecake at Transylvania Flavor is light yet dense and exactly how you want a piece of cheesecake to taste. True Confections is always reliable. However, I would avoid Death by Chocolate; it is a sad shadow of what it once was.

Most of all, if you’re going to bother at all, enjoy it. Don’t get diet, sugar free, low fat nonsense. Your body will figure it out in the end anyway. Have the cheesecake. Don’t worry, it won’t kill you.