Thursday, November 24, 2011

In which there is more of an actual recipe

Okay, welcome to part two of "learning to bake from a college student whose cupboard is full of instant noodles and oatmeal."

Now that you have your crust cooling, your cream cheese softened, and your sweet potatoes cooked nice and mushy, it's time to assemble everything. Brush the cookie crumbs out of that mixing bowl and put the peeled sweet potatoes in it. Make sure they're peeled right, with no gross bits or buds or eyes or whatever. Flecks of un-mashed potato are okay, big stringy chunks of stuff are not. Mashing them with sour cream makes things go a little smoother, and it makes the mashed parts paler than the rest so the chunks stand out and can be mercilessly pureed.

Okay, mash that stuff up and put it in a bowl, or maybe whatever you used to melt the butter in for the crust. Now dump all that cream cheese into your once-more-empty mixing bowl. If you have a real actual mixer, then by all means use that, but otherwise get ready to build some superhero arm-muscles.

If you have brown sugar, you'll want to add a bit over half a cup of that. Or, use white sugar and pour in some molasses. You can make pretty shapes if you want before you mix it all into a mush.

Add enough to make it a nice sort of silly-putty shade.

Mix it really well at this and subsequent stages, cream-cheese chunks are sort of off-putting. Now you need about three eggs; two is enough for two packages of cheese, four if they're medium and you're using three packages. 

Bystanders tensely awaiting the arrival of all the king's horses and all the kings men. Okay, now you're adding them one at a time, so if it's looking too runny at some point just don't add another one.

Once those are all mixed in and it's fluffy and lump-free, pour in whatever fall spices you want. Pretty much the same as for pumpkin, though I prefer more ginger and no allspice for sweet potatoes.

Pour all that in, whatever amounts look good.

Mix in a cup or so of sweet potato, break out the masher again if it's really lumpy.

Pour it on that crust you made a little while ago.

Have some leftover mashed potatoes while you wait, throw on a little molasses or black pepper or whatever floats your boat.

Cook it till it looks less like clam chowder and more like this.

You may want to put a pan under it, buttery crusts drip and start little mini fireworks in your oven. :)
I left mine in for about 45 minutes at 375, and the edges were getting pretty done so I went for 20 or so minutes at 300, then it sat in the oven for a while to cool off. Basically, it should be springy but not too jiggly, and a knife stuck in the middle should not come out covered in greasy soup. You can get fancy with water baths and all that, but why bother when you can just chuck it in the oven? You can even re-cook it a while at a low temp if it's not done in the middle. It's cheesecake, it's gonna be awesome no matter what. Letting it cool is the tough part, I usually make mine a day before but you can skimp on that and try a slice as soon as it's stopped feeling warm to the touch. Now you need to prepare the caramel sauce:

C'mon, you just made a whole cheesecake from scratch, did you really think I'd make you whip up a batch of caramel sauce too? Now drench that masterpiece in liquid caramel and have at it before anyone else finds out it's done.

1 comment:

  1. Would this work with white potatoes? Probably not. So when can I come over?