Back when life was less complicated, when the only issues we had as children were what snacks our moms packed in our Thomas the Tank Engine lunch bags or who we would play with during recess, when I was about six or seven my brother’s kindergarten teacher invited my family over for lunch at her place.
I distinctly remember this lunch because of the cheesecake that followed shortly after the savouries. We were rather impressed so my mom got the recipe from her and to this day, I’ve been using this due its rather simple and foolproof steps. Unlike most cheesecakes which require a bath of water when sitting in the oven to prevent the surface from cracking, this recipe calls for a thin layer of sour cream to cover any imperfections.
Sour cream on cake?
Yes, the sourness of the cream adds a little contrast to the fullness of the chocolate body. For those who fear the density of cheesecakes, this one does well to satisfy those palates because the heaviness of the cake is offset by the bitterness of the cocoa. And the best part of this cake? The graham crust- a little crunchy, sweet/salty foundation that serves as an introduction as the teeth sink into the creaminess above.
Anyhow, here’s the tried-and-true recipe that I’ve used that will satisfy most cheesecake lovers’ appetites. Just ask my cousin or Dion. I made this upon special request of my cousin here in Hong Kong since she’s missed it. And since today is a National Holiday in HK and we’re enjoying the fireworks (unless it rains) on our balcony, thought I might as well throw in a little celebratory cake in the mix. You can adjust it to whatever springform pan size you have: I made a 6″ and two 4″ for today and my colleagues at work (who is cooking me a four mushroom mascarpone cheese pasta for lunch! Homemade Italian lunch tomorrow.. yum yum).
1 1/3 cup Graham crumb
1/4 cup melted margarine
2 250g cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
semi sweet chocolate for shavings
1. combine crumbs and margarine
2. beat cheese till soft
3. combine 3/4 cup sugar and cocoa
4. gradually beat sugar and cocoa into cheese
5. beat eggs one at a time into batter
6. beat in vanilla and salt
7. pour mixture over crumb
8. bake at 350F for 25-30 min
9. remove, cool 15 min
10. increase temp to 450F
11. combine sour cream and sugar (2tbsp)
12. spread over cheese cake, bake for 5 min
13. remove, cool and decorate with chocolate shavings
Fireworks from the view from my apartment to celebrate China’s 60th anniversary as a country. Not a bad pic eh?