Cheesecake and Creme Brulee

by Cate on June 1, 2005

Got a goodie box from Amazon today, and already started reading one of the books, Garlic and Sapphires, the latest from Ruth Reichl. Was pleasantly surprised to find that there are recipes in the book as well, the first of which is a New York Cheesecake that Ruth has perfected over the years. The recipe is simple, and I’m flagging it for an upcoming party (recipe below for you).

And speaking of desserts, as a late addition to our anniversary celebration, I made one of The Husband‘s favorites (mine too!), Creme Brulee. A very simple way to enjoy a custardy decadent treat, I hope you try it.

Caught the first episode of Hell’s Kitchen last night, the new food-related reality-type show with the UK’s Gordon Ramsay. Yeah, he’s pretty harsh, but you know what? It really just reminded me of an armed forces’ boot camp, the way he was barking orders and demanding respect; and if it works for our proud and brave, I suppose it might work in making a Master Chef out of Gordon’s crew. I gotta say, the pressure had to have been overwhelming when he told the group they were opening the restaurant on their first day there with no experience. But I love that kind of pressure; sometimes that’s when you get the best performance out of people. I think Carolann was definitely one of the right ones to go … I can’t believe she was just standing there waiting for a dessert order, instead of helping everyone. If you haven’t seen the show yet, check it out.

Until tomorrow…

Ruth Reichl’s New York Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1-1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
grated zest of one lemon
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the graham crackers with 1/4 cup sugar and the melted butter and press into bottom and sides of a 9-inch ungreased springform pan. Chill while preparing filling. Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. Pour into chilled crust and bake 50 minutes to one hour, or until the cheese is set and starting to turn golden in spots. Remove from the oven (leave oven on) and cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack. Stir together the sour cream, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, remaining teaspoon of vanilla and spread over cooled cake. Return to oven for 12 minutes until glossy and set. Cool completely, cover and chill at least 8 hours. Serves 8.

Sweetnicks Creme Brulee
7 egg yolks
7 tablespoons sugar
3-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra sugar for sprinkling the tops

Heat cream and vanilla until very hot. Beat eggs with sugar until light and creamy. SLOWLY add hot cream to egg mixture and stir well. Pour mixture into 6 ramekins (may need more, depending on the size of your ramekins). Place ramekins in a 13×9 baking pan filled halfway up with water. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, then refrigerate. When serving, I pull them out of the refrigerator about a half-hour before serving, and then immediately before serving, sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar on top of each cup and broil until golden brown and crunchy.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous June 1, 2005 at 2:51 pm

Those recipes look great, especially the cheesecake. Mmmmm, THANKS!

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Stephanie June 1, 2005 at 4:37 pm

Speaking of books, I see you got your journal already!

I’m on the list for book 2, and am ninth on that list…but I’m still waiting for mine!

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Cate June 1, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Yup. I wish I didn’t get a completely empty one — too much pressure this way, ya know?

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