Happy Cheese - I mean Valentine's - Day!
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Well, I finally did it. I baked my very first cheesecake yesterday using the smaller (7 inch) of the two springform pans that my husband hint-gifted me at Christmas. I have dubbed it "The Practice Pan". Since then, I have been Googling recipes. Wow! There are sooooo many cheesecake recipes out there, my friends! Many of them are healthy, but they are of the "no-bake" variety, so while I bookmarked a few for future use, I had to veer way out of my lane go with not-so-healthy recipe this time. Since this is my very first attempt, I wanted to follow the recipe as closely as possible because, well, BAKING. As a Cajun woman, I really enjoy cooking. Now that I have recently began baking, I realize the biggest difference between the two. A cooking recipe is a loosely compiled set of ingredients that can be tweaked to accommodate health or taste preferences. A baking recipe, however, is a finely tuned science experiment that must be performed accurately or the results can be (and smell, and taste) very bad. I subbed out the sour cream for FF Greek yogurt. There was only one egg in this recipe. I used reduced fat Nilla Wafers for the crust. Healthy? Not really. But tasty? You bet! I even made a lovely strawberry compote to top it with. Those of you who bake cheesecake know what a pain baking a delicate cake in a bain marie (water bath) using a pan with a detachable ring for sides (as in leaky) can be. And my bain marie leaked into my leaky pan. A LOT. Even though I wrapped the pan in an oven bag and covered that with two layers of foil. UGH! I was very glad that I got the (full-fat) cream cheese - because the store was out of FF - on a "buy one, get two" (yes you read that right!) sale because I was sure the cake was ruined. But when I took it from the fridge and released it from it's leaky prison this morning, I was pleasantly surprised. And also very proud of myself for not giving into the temptation to toss it in the trash along with the soggy foil and oven bag it was wrapped in. The next time, however, I will healthify it up as much as I can. I plan to use a different recipe that calls for more eggs for a fluffier texture. Maybe I can cut some of the whole eggs and use the equivalent in egg white instead? I will research that. I will definitely use light or FF cream cheese for the cake and RF crumbs for the crust. I HAVE to use real sugar, though. The most artificial sweetener I can tolerate is the packet of Stevia I put in my morning cup of coffee. But first, I am going to order the genius invention called the "Cheesecake Wrap", a silicone "nest" to protect your leaky springform from your bain marie. I mean really... Baking a cake in a leaky pan that sits in the middle of a water puddle is a feat in and of itself, right?
The unhealthy cheese feast for today may end with a (very small) slice of my above-mentioned creation, but it began this morning when my husband made us breakfast. Scrambled eggs with salsa and cheddar. The full-fat kind because he won't eat anything but. I also plan to make the Tik-Tok viral Baked Feta Pasta for dinner. Of course, the store was also out of FF Feta. (Seriously, I should really think about shopping elsewhere for cheese, right?) I think I can at least divide the feta sauce to accommodate our different pastas - whole wheat for me, white for hubby. Still not my usual zucchini pasta, but this is also a new recipe so I want use actual pasta for the trial run.
For someone who usually eats very little cheese, the menu today will probably put me off cheese altogether for awhile. The best I can do for healthy eating today (other than reduce the portions of the unhealthy stuff on the menu) is to have a light lunch made up of produce and to drink (even more) water until my eyeballs float.
Happy Valentine's day!