Sunday, August 5, 2012

Crock-Pot Cheesecake



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If men climb mountains because they're there, is it fair to say that cooks try new recipes for the same reason? I suspect so. You all know I have a special weakness for cheesecake. It's been featured here over a dozen times and I'm still not ready to let it rest. When the recipe for this one appeared on my radar, my curiosity was piqued. I've used a slow cooker for many things, but never dreamed of using it to make a real dessert. This cheesecake sounded like a perfect dish with which to begin my experiments. The recipe was developed by Beth Hensberger for Food and Wine magazine. Beth creates wonderful recipes and the magazine keeps me current and connected to the cooking mainstream, so I knew the recipe would, at the very least, be sound. The cheesecake looked delicious and a quick scan of the ingredient list confirmed just how easy it would be to make. I decided to use low-fat dairy products in the cake, and, because too much of it can be harsh, I cut the quantity of almond extract in half. I replaced the missing portion with a teaspoon of good vanilla. The recipe featured below does not reflect the changes that I made. I was pleasantly surprised by this cheesecake. While the top of the cake forms a caldera, it can be filled with berries and the finished product is quite attractive and guest-worthy. I know that those of you who try this recipe will be really pleased with the results. Its size makes it perfect for today's smaller families and the use of low-fat dairy products keeps calories reasonably under control. I hope you, too, will give this cheesecake a try. Here's how it is made.

Crock-Pot Cheesecake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Beth Hensberger and Food and Wine Magazine

Ingredients:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Salt
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup sour cream

Directions:
1) Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Press crumbs over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 6-inch springform pan that's 3 inches deep. I used an 8-inch springform pan.
2) In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, combine cream cheese, flour, remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, add eggs and almond extract. I used a combination of 1/2 teaspoon almond and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until blended. Add sour cream and beat until smooth. Pour batter into springform pan.
3) Fill a 6- to 7-quart round or oval slow cooker with 1/2 inch of water and position a rack in bottom. I used boiling water and jury rigged a rack with wads of aluminum foil. Set cheesecake on rack. Cover slow cooker with a triple layer of paper towels, then cover towels with lid. Turn cooker to high and cook for 2 hours without peeking. DO NOT PEEK. Turn off heat and let stand until slow cooker has cooled, 1 hour.
4) Remove lid and paper towels and transfer cheesecake to a rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
5) Heat a sharp, thin-bladed knife under hot water; dry knife. Carefully run the knife around edge of the cheesecake. Release the spring and lift cheesecake out of the mold. Cut into wedges and serve decorated with berries, if desired. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.








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31 comments:

Lori E said...

How interesting. Good way to keep your kitchen cool I guess but other than that what would the benefits be? Well other than the obvious fact that we would get to eat a yummy cheesecake that is.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Now I am intrigued, cheese cake in the slow cooker! Not sure I have a pan that will fit into my slow cooker, but I will certainly give this a try. I can't think of a pudding I love more than cheese cake :) Have a good day Diane

Coleens Recipes said...

What a fun post. I saw this idea during a late night recipe surf session and wondered if it would work. Thanks for sharing this!!

Alessandra said...

hehehe, I love your opening line! And really you can use a crock Pot? I would never thought of it!

ImSoVintage said...

What a great idea, Mary. I would never have thought that you could cook a cheesecake in a slow cooker. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs,
Laura

Big Dude said...

"but never dreamed of using it to make a real dessert." - me neither, but looks like it turned out well.

Foodycat said...

That's such a clever way of managing to get an even heat! I'd join you in using vanilla instead of almond essence.

Merisi in Vienna said...

That's ingenious!
How does the graham cracker crust turn out with this method? Still crusty to the relatively high heat?

I miss Food and Wine Magazine. I am able to buy Martha Stewart Living here, all other American food magazines elude me (and I like them so much better than the German ones, which I detest, they are so bland, I refuse to buy them).

What's Baking?? said...

A perfect cheesecake and on top of that, you have sour cream in it too.. my fav ingredient..yums.

Jeanne said...

Love all of your postings and recipes........Sunday blessings my friend.
Love Jeanne

sississima said...

very good! Bye, SILVIA

Ellen B Cookery said...

I really need to invest into a crock pot. This is a wonderful recipe!

Martha said...

what an intriguing way to prepare my favorite dessert! I might just have to give it a go!~ Thanks for sharing Mary! Blessings ~ Martha

lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks for being my cheesecake watchdog, Mary! The Herbal Husband loves cheesecake! Now is my slow cooker a 6 or 7 quarter? Blessings. Nancy

Jeannie Tay said...

Lovely! WOuld love to try this too, very interesting way of cooking cheesecake!

Lilli said...

I want it please!!^^ kisses Mary!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I had to do a double-take on this title and I'm most intrigued! Cheesecake in a Crock-Pot! Who would have thought? Thanks, Mary! blessings ~tanna

Shug said...

Looks so light and fluffy...I am thinking that this is one that I surely could not mess up...The hardest thing for me will be NOT TO PEEK... but I won't..
Blessings.
shug

Kim Garceau said...

Cheesecake in a Crock-Pot, very good idea, I like it!!!! Plus, it looks good, Mary (I too have a real weakness for cheesecake!)

Rue said...

I love a crock pot meal, so why not a dessert? Especially cheesecake! I like the "not peeking" part. I'm always happy to just walk away and let the crock pot do the work!

Joanne said...

I recently gave my crockpot away but know I'm thinking that perhaps I should borrow it back from the girl I gave it to to make this!

Veronica Miller said...

Isn't this the coolest! So nice to have a recipe for a baked dessert made in the crockpot so you don't have to heat up the house. Def going to try this!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a cool idea - in more ways than one.

kitty said...

I'm intrigued by this recipe and would love to give it a try!! Thanks for testing it out for us, Mary!

Salsa Verde said...

Super interesting I must say, but the look of your cheesecake is absolutely stunning and the flavours might be totally delicious.
Hope you have a fantastic day,
Lia.

Jenn said...

I had a friend who made a crock-pot cheesecake recently.. I was surprised and amazed at how truly wonderful it was. Yours looks even better than hers did!!

Jessica@AKitchenAddiction said...

Oh, I would love a slice of this cheesecake! Love how this is made in a crock pot!

tender b. said...

Cheesecake in a crock pot? Now that is something I never expected to hear.

Lucie said...

Every time I leave blogging aside and come back to your blog a few months later, I always find a recipe that makes me want to dash into the kitchen. This is one of them!

http://platanosmangoes.com said...

When I saw the title I say "you have to be kidding me"...I love it....

Sharon said...

I made this yesterday and it is beautiful and delicious. I was expecting it to be another recipe that just wastes my time and ingredients! I used a corningware dish and regular beaters and it turned out perfect. A little lighter than your typical cheesecake. No cracks!

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