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Like Della, I’m not all that keen to turn on my oven in the middle of a heat wave. Luckily for me, I happened to be in the liquor store (big surprise) and noticed the summer edition of Taste magazine sitting there. I love liquor store magazines, don’t you? They’re full of articles about – what else? – alcohol, and then really yummy-looking recipes with wine and alcohol pairings. How can you go wrong?
But where was I? Oh, yes: cheesecake. There is something seriously wrong with this list. Who the hell bakes a cheesecake in July? Not me, that’s for darned sure.
Oh, happy day when I found a recipe in Taste for no-bake strawberry cheesecake bites (picture at p. 103, recipe at 153 – check it out here). They looked like delectable pink clouds banked against graham wafer shores. Or something. So I gave them a shot. I had actually intended to make cherry cheesecake bites because cherries are in season right now and strawberries are back to being crappy California ones, but no dice. My grocery store was the only one in the Lower Mainland without BC cherries, unfortunately. And I was too lazy to look around. At least I opted for organic strawberries.
Recipe below, with comments inserted (p.s. this is half the recipe. Well, sort of. I think it still makes 20 cheesecake bites. The full recipe would make giant cheesecake many bites.
Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
(makes 20 cheesecakes)
- 1/2 T powdered gelatine
- 1 T water
- 1 pkg cream cheese, room temp.
- 1/2 lemon, zest & juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 C white sugar
- 2 T sour cream
- 1/2 C whipping cream
- 6 oz strawberries, diced
- graham wafer crumbs
Line an 8×8” pan with plastic wrap (the original recipe has you do this for a full pound of cream cheese, resulting, as I said earlier, in many bites).
Beat together cream cheese, lemon zest & juice, vanilla, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Melt gelatine (either in a small saucepan or in a microwave for 15 seconds – I heated it in the mic for the recommended 30 seconds and ended up with boiling gelatine all over the mic, the counter, and me. I should sue for the disfiguring burns!) and whisk into cream cheese.
In a separate bowl, beat cream until whipped (that just sounds dirty, doesn’t it?). Fold whipped cream & strawberries into cream cheese.
Spread into prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours until set (this is the part I didn’t get. Still don’t. Why freeze it if you’re adding gelatine? Why add gelatine if you’re going to freeze it?)
Take cheesecake out of freezer & soften slightly – about 20 minutes. Cut into bites and roll in graham crumbs. Serve.
So, what ended up happening is that I gnawed away at frozen cheesecake and really frozen strawberries. It was much better the next day, when I just took the bites out of the fridge.