Basic cheesecake filling

Yield: 1 cake

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds To 2 lb cream cheese
½ cup Powdered sugar
2 To 3 eggs
½ cup Yogurt or sour cream
¾ cup Liqueur or fruit/vegetable puree
1 tablespoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Or more other flavored extracts, if desired

Here's where it gets fun. The more cream cheese you use, the denser the cheesecake will be (but not dry!) The more eggs you use, the fluffier it will be. There's a delicate balance here - 1 lb cheese and 3 eggs will give you a fluffy cheesecake, but if you use 2 lbs cheese, 3 eggs is an absolute must if you don't want it to be flat.

More eggs than 3, and you'll taste the eggs. 1 lb cheese and 2 eggs is a nice balance, too, but going any lower than that you'll just end up with something flat.

The powdered sugar works best for two reasons - number one, powdered sugar contains corn starch, which acts as a thickener, and number two, you don't have to worry about the grittiness of undissolved sugar in your cake. The yogurt or sour cream adds moistness and a little bit of tang to the cake. It's not necessary, but it adds oomph to either a bland cake or a citrus-flavored cake. For liqueur, add no more than ½ cup if you're using the yogurt or sour cream, and make sure you're using the three eggs. If you eliminate the yogurt/sour cream, you can increase the liqueur to ¾ cup, and 2 eggs will work (but three is still better - two works best only if you're not using the yogurt/sour cream >and< your liqueur is only ½ cup.) A fruit or vegetable puree should be relatively dry - drain off the liquid in a sieve, or put it in a saucepan, mix in some cornstarch, and heat it until it's thick. You can use an entire cup of puree if you eliminate the yogurt/sour cream. Either mix in the puree with the batter, or reserve a cup or so of batter, mix it with the puree, then swirl it into the cheesecake.

The vanilla is a must, in my opinion. Lots of times, I'll throw in an extra teaspoon for good measure. Other extracts can enhance the flavor - banana extract in a strawberry cheesecake, coconut extract or almond extract in an Amaretto cheesecake, etc.

Another addition would be cocoa or chocolate. Cocoa mixes in nicely without making the cheesecake gooey - 4-6 Tbsp will do it. Melted chocolate or white chocolate chips shouldn't really exceed 6 oz, even 4 oz will usually do enough for the flavor. If you're doing the swirl thing, use only 2-3 oz melted chocolate for the batter that's being swirled in. Make sure the melted stuff is cooled before you mix it in.

(see also Basic Cheesecake Crust and Basic Cheesecake Method & Toppings)

* The Polka Dot Palace BBS 1-201-822-3627. Posted by FAYLEN

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