Say, “Cheese-cake!” I don’t always make cheesecake but, when I do, it must be in following Tyler Florence’s Ultimate recipe. Seriously the best homemade cheesecake instruction I have come across ─ to date ─ let it be known: a piece of this all-American style dessert is not for the faint of heart. Dense, rich, and reassuringly decadent, Tyler’s take on this classic is full of flavour ─ a.k.a. saturated fatty deliciousness. Needless to say, the anatomy of this three-part cake is telling of a very good ─ for your taste buds ─ anticipated treat: tart fruit topping, velvety smooth filling, and a buttery cinnamon-infused graham cracker crust.
Care to get your own cheesecake factory up and running? Clearly I do, and you can too! Simply remember: all is possible with some precision and elbow grease. So for the making of your own cheesy round, start by getting your hands on the ‘necessities’ and separately prepare each required layer. Crackers smashed and blended with melted butter and spice, mould the dry crumbs into a cake pan and set it aside into the fridge. Now for the filling, here’s what you’ll need: cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest. Filling made and crust chilled, continue by pouring the abundant batter into the cookie shell and wrap the cake tin’s exterior ─ twice, for safe measure ─ with foil. While some recipes omit a steam bath ─ ‘bain-marie’ ─ this one calls for it. And so, it’s a must to ensure the aluminum package is tightly sealed prior to submerging it into a roasting pan filled with hot water. Finally ready to bake, carefully place the pan-filled contents into a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, as per Tyler’s directions. A tad bit extra work ─ I know ─ but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Messing not with this cheesecake recipe, then, I can attest that adhering to Tyler’s steps will yield optimal results: a perfectly smooth moist cake. And once chilled, this delicately sweet creamy cheesecake can be enjoyed ‘as is’ or made more scrumptious with the addition of a fruit topping. While the original recipe proposes a simmering of citrus zest and blueberries, my preference lies with seasonal ‘rouge’ embellishments. In effect, I replace Tyler’s warm blueberry lemon topping with vibrant red raspberries. Still refreshing and bursting with bright flavour, I first enrobe the plain cheesecake canvas with a spreading of sieved raspberry preserve, and then decorate the glistening surface with orderly rows of fresh ruby berries. ‘Et voilà,’ this presentable cake is now ready to slice and share. Indeed living true to status, this “ultimate” cake boldly delivers in taste, texture, and appeal. Obviously beyond words, it’s just one of those things ─ ‘c’est du fromage!’
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