Sunday felt like one of the hottest days of the summer, though I know it will only get worse. July in Florida is always worse than June. And what does one do on one of the hottest days of the year? Why, bake a cheesecake of course!
I had a wonderful plan for a cool dinner. A nice full salad, composed of cool romaine lettuce, ripe tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, a little sprinkling (or lot of sprinkling) of medium-sharp cheddar cheese, a few croutons and some nice grilled lemon pepper chicken. And for dessert: a nice chilled cheesecake topped with strawberries.
The one thing I didn't consider? Cheesecake Supreme bakes in the oven at 400 degrees for ten minutes, then you drop it down to 300. Either way, my kitchen got HOT. That was not part of my plan.
Also not part of my plan? Using 5 hours of prep and baking time to make the darn thing. 5 hours of my life for a cheesecake? I think not. So here's what I cut:
1.5 hours called for to heat the cream cheese to room temperature--> 30 seconds, power level 1 in the microwave accomplishes the SAME THING! So instead of waiting for cream cheese to soften for 1.5 hours, I saved 1 hour, 29 minutes and 30 seconds.
2 hours chilling in the refrigerator --> I just popped it in there while we ate. When we were ready for dessert a little while later, I cut and arranged the strawberries atop the creamy white surface and voila- dessert. Though not thoroughly chilled, it was still magnificent.
I'm quite proud of myself for achieving the proper cheesecake texture on my first attempt.
Aesthetics were not so easily achieved. My wacky oven is 75 degrees hotter than it tells you it is, and though I baked for the minimum suggested time, it still cracked. However, I used the sliced strawberries to cover the crack. This coincidentally ended up in a peace sign. Sort of.
In any case, 5 recipes down, 283 to go.