Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a delicious cheesecake

Finally the holidays are over. I hope everyone had great ones. I know I did. I went home to my mom's for Christmas, it was awesome. There was snow in western Mass, I got to see my best (boy) friend, and spend quality time with my mom and sister. I'll write more about that later, when I get pictures from Dana. Also got to see my aunt marsha and uncle John, so it was a really good family Christmas. Good news is I got a stand mixer and a camera for Christmas so the quality of things I make will improve greatly (or, at least the visual quality on this site and the ease I make things with) but the bad news is that they're in the mail, haven't arrived yet.

For Christmas dinner I cooked the standing rib roast my mom had bought, which was terrifying because I'd never cooked anything so large or expensive. But, despite being cooked medium and not medium-rare like we wanted, it was awesome. I rubbed it all over with salt and pepper and olive oil, cooked it for half an hour at 450 degrees (or 400, I forget), then at 350 for 3 hours or so. YUM.

For New Years Alex and I relaxed at home, some friends were going to come over but didn't, so we enjoyed each other's company and the fact we didn't have to be at work today until 9. We roasted a leg of pork, which was delicious and huge and will be posted about later. Instead, I want to write about the cheesecake I made the other day. I haven't made a cheesecake since high school, when I used to make them pretty often. I made a recipe for cookies that didn't turn out right the other day, but I felt they would make a great crust for cheesecake. I was right. This was an awesome cheesecake, Sarah and I devoured at least 2/3rds of it within 24 hours. But let's pretend I didn't say that. Cheesecake with gingersnap crust
for the crust:
1 c brown rice flour
2 T cornstarch
1/8 t baking soda
1 t ginger
1/2 t xanthan gum
4 T butter
4 T brown sugar

Sift the first 5 ingredients, and melt the butter with the brown sugar. Mix the butter-sugar into the dry mix, and add water a teaspoon at a time until dough can form into a ball. Grease a 10 inch springform pan well, and mush crust into it, or, roll out and cut out a circle. Bake 10 minutes at 375.

for the cake: From the Joy of Cooking
3 8oz packages of cream cheese (1 1/2 lbs), room temp
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
3 eggs, room temp

Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Beat in the sugar and vanilla, then eggs, one at a time. Mix only until combined. Pour onto the ginger crust, and bake at 300 for 45-55 minutes. Cool in pan one hour, then spread with:

Sour cream topping: (this will cover any cracks in the cake, which happen from too rapid cooling, but don't matter at all)
1 c sour cream
1/4 c sugar
1 T vanilla
1/8 t salt

Mix everything together, spread on the cake, then cool the cake in the fridge about 3 hours, if you can stand it.

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