Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Every year without fail, lots of students want to make cheesecake in class. With students being at home, I wanted to make more videos and recipes that they can use as a reference. With the kids working at home, my classroom now typically has me running around, logged in to multiple devices, trying to do live cooking demos with my students. I also have a camera set up with a tripod and try to film the whole process for those students that weren’t able to make it, (and as a resource for students in the future).

Ingredients for the crust (7″ springform pan)
150g graham crumbs (1 – 1/4 cup)
32g sugar (2 tbsp)
56g butter (4 tbsp)
0.75g salt (1/8 tsp) [optional]

Instructions
1. Melt butter in a microwave or on a stove top. Set aside.
2. In a stainless steel bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly.
3. Add butter to graham-sugar mixture and stir.
4. Pour mixture into prepared spring form pan and pat down firmly with a ramekin to get an even layer.
5. Bake crust at 350°F for roughly 15 minutes.

Ingredients for the filling
500g cream cheese (2 blocks)
100g sugar (1/2 cup)
2 eggs, large
200g sour cream (3/4 cup)
5g vanilla extract (1 tsp)

Instructions
1. In a food processor, add cream cheese and sugar. Process until fully combined.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to blend, scraping the sides of the food processor between each addition.
3. Add vanilla extract and sour cream, process until combined.
4. Add batter to the prepared crust in the spring form pan.
5. Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil, so the water does not get in the base in the next step.
6. Place the pan in larger baking dish and fill with roughly 1 inch of water.
6. Bake at 200°F in the water bath for roughly 2 hours or until the center reaches 165°F (a little higher is OK too – we suggest 300°F for an hour or until it reaches 165°F if you are using any home ovens).
7. Remove cheesecake from water bath, refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.

Variations
award winning recipe
– use Oreo crumbs instead of graham and fold some crushed Oreos in the batter
– substitute sour cream for other flavours (I have done flavoured yogurt in the past)
– use fruits other than strawberries for your sauce.
– add various extracts, fold in fruits, the world is your cheesecake
– if you want to make a bigger cheesecake (we have tried it with a 10″ springform), simply 1.5x the recipe

Tips, Troubleshooting & FAQs
I don’t have a food processor, can I use a stand mixer?
Stand mixer/ hand mixer will work just fine, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. You can even do it by hand with a spatula.

Can I cook the cheesecake at a higher temperature?
Absolutely, you can cut down the cooking time by increasing the oven temperature, but we do not recommend going higher than 300F. You’ll need to monitor your cheesecake more closely to make sure that it doesn’t overbake.

If you want to make it into a New York style cheese cake with a slight brown surface, we suggest putting the cheesecake (once it’s done) back into a 500F oven on the top rack and bake for a few minutes until you get the colour that you want.

Strawberry Sauce

This strawberry sauce is adapted from the funnel cake recipe that Wonderland posted during the lockdown. I decided to add this as a topping since it will have some nostalgia for people and compensate for those who missed out on their funnel cakes last year. I remember when I used to go to Wonderland, I didn’t leave unless I had a funnel cake to myself. We adjusted the recipe based on our sweetness preference and availability of ingredients. I also thought it was a good idea not to add food colouring in the sauce, but it turns out I was wrong. I ended up adding it at the end for the colour/aesthetics.

Ingredients
450g water (2 cups)
50g strawberry jam (1/4 cup)
90g sugar (1/2 cup)
25g cornstarch (1/4 cup)
30g water (2 tbsp)
15g lemon juice (1 tbsp)
150g frozen strawberries (roughly 1 – 1/2 cup)
red food colouring (optional, as needed)

Ingredients
1. In small sauce pot, add the 450g water, strawberry jam, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
2. When the sugar/jam/water mixture is simmering, mix cornstarch with the 30g of water.
3. Once the mixture is at a boil, add in cornstarch slurry, and bring it to a boil again.
4. Stir in frozen strawberries, lemon juice and food colouring.
5. Refrigerate until use.

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