Hello, Cheesecake!

Well well. Look at that…it’s April already. WHERE is this year going?

I have been a little preoccupied lately because I have written several new pieces for NBC Washington’s About Town section 🙂 They were both published on the website recently, feel free to take a look! The first was about Northside Social Coffee and Wine, a new coffee and wine bar with a cafe that is opening right down the street from my house. The second is about a fairly new Turkish restaurant called Ezme in Dupont Circle. Yippee! That was fun, and I’m excited to do more!

I have actually done a ton of great cooking recently that is sitting here waiting to get blogged about. So it’s about time that I do! I have been terrible about buying cookbooks recently. I went to Barnes and Nobel to redeem a gift card and walked out with THREE cookbooks! Ah! They are:

Gluten Free Baking Classics, by Annalise G. Roberts

The Complete Book of Home Preserving

1000 Gluten Free Recipes, by Carol Fenster

These books have provided a welcome influx of new ideas and inspiration for me. I felt like I was getting into a baking and cooking rut and am trying now to pull myself out of it. For example, Keith and I had plans to attend a monthly gluten free potluck event in DC a few weeks ago, so instead of doing my normal chocolate chip cookies I thought I would try a cheesecake! Annalise Roberts’ book has several good looking recipes and I decided to try the one for New York Cheesecake. I mean really, how can you go wrong with a super rich, dense, creamy cheesecake? What gluten free diner wouldn’t want a piece of that, right? 🙂

I tried it out and the recipe was incredibly easy AND delicious. I made just a few adjustments to the recipe to suit my tastes, but it’s essentially the same. I served it plain, but the next time I make it, I will do a fruit sauce or chocolate ganache on the top like Keith suggested! I might also try it with a gf graham cracker crust next time, as that came out so well on my Pumpkin Cheesecake for Halloween. The best part about this recipe was that when we ended up not being able to attend the potluck, I invited over some friends that are NOT gluten free to help us eat it; when asked, they said that it tasted like regular (awesome) cheesecake. Victory!

New York Cheesecake

The cheesecake was gone WAY too fast!

New York Cheesecake
Adapted from Annalise Roberts’ Gluten Free Baking Classics

Crust

1 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp. xanthan gum
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
grated rind of 1 lemon

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in center of oven. Line the bottom of a ten inch springform pan with greased parchment paper and dust lightly with rice flour.

2) Mix all ingredients for crust in bowl of electric mixer and mix at low speed. Press about 1/3 of dough into detached bottom of springform pan and bake for 12 minutes. Cool slightly on rack. While bottom is baking, roll the rest of the dough out between two pieces of wax paper and refrigerate. Turn oven up to 475 F.

Cream Cheese Filling

5 8-oz packages cream cheese
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp half and half or whole milk
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
grated rind of 1 lemon

1) To make filling, beat cream cheese until smooth in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed. Reduce speed and slowly add sugar, then flour, salt, eggs, egg yolks, half an half, and orange and lemon rind. Scrape bowl and beaters; beat at high speed for 5 more minutes.

2) Attach bottom of springform pan to sides. Press remaining dough around sides to within 1 inch of top of pan. Pour cream cheese filling into pan and bake in center of oven for 12 minutes. Turn oven control down to 300 F and bake 50 minutes more. If the top begins to get too brown, cover with foil to prevent scorching. Turn off oven but do not open door; leave cake in oven another 15 minutes. Cool cake on wire rack and refrigerate. When cold, remove pan sides and slide cheesecake off bottom onto a platter. Serve with fruit or chocolate sauce!

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