Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Springtime And Cheesecakes

Spring is in the air and birds are singing their songs of praises. Making cheesecakes can bring smiles and beautiful colors into your home.
I thought that I would share just a few of the newest collections of cheesecake recipes, that I have managed to whip up just recently. So sit back and enjoy, then go into your kitchen and whip up one of these cheesecakes tonight.


Caramelized Orange Cheesecake
For the topping:
1 large firm thin-skinned orange, such as Valencia
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
For the cheesecake:
1 ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs (from about 17 squares)
3 tbsp. butter, melted
24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ c. sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp. flour
½ c. sour cream
1 tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
Make topping:
With a sharp knife, slice orange into thin rounds (between 1/8 and 1/16 in. thick), discarding ends and seeds. In a deep 10-inch frying pan or pot over medium-high heat, stir sugar, ¾ cup water, and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer gently, keeping slices in a single layer and turning occasionally, until they’re slightly candied and translucent and liquid has consistency of a thin syrup, about 20 minutes (there should be about ½ cup liquid in pan; if less, add enough hot water to make that amount and shake pan to mix water into syrup). Let cool in pan. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes.
Make cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 300.
Pour cracker crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan (with side at least 2 ¼ inch high); add butter and mix. Press mixture evenly over bottom and ½ inch up sides of pan.
In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour, sour cream, and liqueur just until incorporated. Pour into crust-lined pan.
Bake until center barely jiggles when cake is gently shaken, 60 to 70 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife between cheesecake and pan rim. Cool completely at room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and chill until cold, at least 3 hours.
Remove pan rim. If any moisture has collected on top of cake, gently blot dry with a paper towel. Gently lift candied orange slices from syrup, reserving syrup, and blot dry. Arrange slices, slightly overlapping, over top of cheesecake.
Bring reserved syrup to a boil over high heat. Stir occasionally until syrup is deep golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in orange juice (mixture will bubble up). Let cool to room temperature and generously brush over orange slices (you may have extra syrup).
Cut cake slices with a serrated knife, running knife under hot water and wiping clean after each slice.

Heavenly Orange

Heavenly Orange Cheesecake
1 ½ c. Chocolate Wafer Crumbs
4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter – melted
1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
½ c. Orange Juice
24 oz. Cream Cheese -- softened
¾ c. Sugar
1 c. Whipping Cream -- whipped
2 tsp. Grated Orange Peel
Combine crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan and bake at
350 for 10 minutes. Cool Soften gelatin in juice; stir over low heat until dissolved.
Combine cream cheese and sugar. Gradually add gelatin mixture. Fold in whipped
cream and peel. Chill until firm


Orange Blossom Cheesecake
For easy slicing, use a serrated knife to slice the orange.
Candied oranges can be prepared a day in advance. Cover orange slices with second sheet of wax or parchment and refrigerate. Refrigerate syrup in an airtight container.
Orange blossom water is available in the international aisle of many supermarkets and liquor stores as well as Middle Eastern markets.
Don't be alarmed: the cheesecake will shrink as it cools.
For the Candied Orange Slices:
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/8 tsp. salt
1 orange, washed and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (See Notes)
1 cinnamon stick

For the Crust:
2 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves

For the Filling:
4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
½ c. sugar
16 oz. cream cheese cut into small pieces and at room temperature
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. orange blossom water (See Notes)
For the candied orange slices: Line large baking sheet with wax or parchment paper; set aside.
Combine sugar, water, and salt in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add orange slices and cinnamon stick, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, turning the slices occasionally, until rinds become soft and syrup begins to foam, 35 to 45 minutes.
Arrange orange slices in single layer on prepared baking sheet.
For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.
Combine cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in small bowl, stirring until crumbs are thoroughly saturated with butter.
Press onto bottom and up sides of springform pan, leaving about ½ inch from top of pan. Line exterior of pan with foil.
Bake crust until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes.
For the filling: Decrease oven temperature to 275.
In bowl of standing mixer or large bowl, whip egg whites with whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. If you used the stand mixer bowl, transfer whites to separate bowl and wipe out bowl.
With paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, egg yolks, flour, and orange zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream and orange blossom water and continue beating until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes longer, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.
Stir 1/3 of egg whites into cream cheese mixture, and then gently fold in remaining egg whites. Scrape batter into cooled crust and bake until cheesecake is set but still a bit wobbly in the center, 75 to 90 minutes. Shut oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven 20 minutes.
Refrigerate cheesecake until completely chilled and set, at least 3 hours. Remove from springform mold and set on serving dish. Arrange orange slice on top of cake and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons syrup. Serve, passing remaining syrup at table if desired.

orange and cream

Orange Cream Cheesecake
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. grated orange peel
½ c. butter, melted
1 package (3 ounces) orange gelatin
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ c. sugar
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1/3 c. thawed orange juice concentrate
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp. cold water
2 tbsp. boiling water
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 c. whipped topping
¼ c. sugar
Lemon slices, orange peel strips, Kumquats and lemon balm for garnish, optional
In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, cinnamon, orange peel and butter. Press unto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare orange gelatin according to package directions. Set aside 1/2 cup at room temperature. Chill remaining gelatin until slightly thickened, 40-60 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed 2 minutes longer.
In a small bowl, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir into room temperature orange gelatin. Stir into cream cheese mixture, then fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust.
For topping, in a large bowl, beat whipped topping and sugar. Beat in refrigerated orange gelatin (mixture will be thin). Chill for 30 minutes. Gently spoon over filling (pan will be full). Refrigerate for 8 hour or overnight. Garnish lemon slices, orange peel strips, kumquats and lemon balm if desired.

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