Cheesecake

Cheesecake by Maria Garza and David Culbreth

Videography and Production by Jacqueline M. Bracero

Maria Garza and David Culbreth are both seniors at St. Mary’s University. They are making a cheesecake and explaining how they started cooking/baking together.

Ingredients

  • 4 bars of cream cheese
  • 1 container of sour cream
  • 1 box of graham crackers
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Crush graham crackers into a fine powder. Mix cinnamon into graham crackers. Melt butter in the microwave for 30 minutes. Pour melted butter into graham crackers. Mix crust. Pour crust mixture into spring form pan and press to form crust. With an electric mixture, begin to mix the cream cheese one at a time with sour cream. Beat eggs into cream mixture one at a time.  Add sugar into cream mixture 10. Pour cream mixture into crust. Bake in the oven at 350 degree for 1 hour. Let the cheesecake rest until cool to touch. Place cheesecake in fridge for 12 hours. Serve and enjoy.

The Best New York Style Cheesecake

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The Best New York Style Cheesecake by Anissa Bravo
Story and Photos by Stela Khury

When Anissa Bravo, Junior English major, tried to decide what sort of food she would both feel comfortable preparing and enjoy eating, she sensed a pattern. Bravo noticed that she kept seeking out dishes that she could share easily. Her dream job as a teacher showed through her desire to unite over an often overlooked task. Bravo felt an evening off to order pizza was a fun idea, but actually taking up the task of preparing a meal was even more rewarding, if not therapeutic.

“I genuinely love all types of food! I do enjoy Mexican food because that is definitely comfort food for me; I also love Asian and Italian cuisine,” Bravo says. “But anything sweet is definitely a favorite for me.”

Bravo decided she wanted to bake a comforting dessert for her closest group of friends. She says St. Mary’s has a “homey vibe” that welcomes simple pleasures, thus she picked the simplest and most delicious dessert of all: cheesecake.  Bravo felt that after a rough start to the semester, a Friday night watching the Lord of the Rings while munching on a slice of freshly baked cheesecake was just what she and her friends needed.

“I chose the New York cheesecake with a blueberry topping because it is very delicious and also fun to make,” Bravo says. “There really isn’t any other special significance besides that I adore cheesecake… and blueberries. So, as a combination, they’re pretty spectacular.”

Bravo says that cheesecake is a fairly easy recipe to make, because it basically involves “mixing ingredients and pouring them on a pan.” The only downside of cheesecake over a plain cake is that the cheesecake needs time to cool. The New York style of cheesecake, according to Bravo, is one of the easiest if one needs to “get eating fast.” Bravo’s secret hint is to let the cheesecake cool for 30 minutes on top of the oven and then an hour in the freezer, which should allow for a firm, delicious cheesecake in half the time.

Bravo also advises aspiring chefs to remember to add a fruit topping.

“Plain cheesecake is delicious, but nothing beats a tasty kick of sweet berries,” Bravo says. “Also, the way it looks at the end is so beautiful that it makes [this cheesecake] a rewarding dessert to bake.”

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2c finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • ·2 (8-oz) blocks of cream cheese
  • ·3 eggs
  • ·1c sugar
  • ·1 pint sour cream
  • ·1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit topping:

  • ·1 pint blueberries, raspberries or cherries
  • ·2T sugar

In a saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for five minutes, or until the fruit begins to release juice and the sugar to become firm. The ideal point is when, by mixing the contents of the pan, the sauce is only thick enough for the bottom of the saucepan to be perfectly visible for a moment.

Servings: 8-12

Directions

Prepare the oven by preheating it to 325°F.

In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust with a fork until evenly moistened. Coat the bottom and sides of pan with either cooking spray or regular cooking oil.

Pour the mixture into the pan and press the crumbs down onto the bottom of the pan and an inch up on the sides to form the base of the cheesecake.

Next, with aid of a mixer, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla extract for one minute until smooth.

On a separate bowl, add sour cream and fold in one egg at a time. Continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat these components until creamy (one or two minutes.)

Combine the cream cheese and sour cream mixtures and beat until smooth and even.

Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Cover the cheesecake pan with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

Let the cheesecake, still slightly jiggly, to cool in the pan for 30 minutes.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Finally, unmold and transfer to a cake plate.

Using a spatula spread a layer of the fruit topping of choice over the surface.

No-Bake Strawberry Frosted Cheesecake

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No-Bake Strawberry Frosted Cheesecake
Story and Photos by Amanda Cano

With a crust made of graham crackers and a filling made from the heart, an aspiring baker prepares a No-Bake Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake for her boyfriend.

With limited resources while living on-campus and a desire to bake for special occasions, graduating English-communication arts senior Denice Hernandez finds a way to bake in the comfort of her own room.

After living on-campus for the past three years, Hernandez found a way to practice her baking skills without a kitchen.

“This no-bake recipe is really great because I didn’t need a kitchen, and it was a lot more simple too,” she says.

“I just love how diverse cheesecake can be, and I think this is a recipe that anyone can experiment with and personalize. So I recommend taking this recipe and adding your own special ingredients.”

Although Hernandez enjoys perfecting recipes she knows her boyfriend will love, her determination does not end when the timer rings.

Her passion lingers in other areas just like the scent of her sweet treats.

She is graduating a semester early and has been published in three established newspapers including the San Antonio Express News.

“I don’t think my  ‘dream job’ is just one thing in one place; I think I am going to have a lot of different dreams, and it is just a matter of me fulfilling them all,” she says.

“My ultimate goal is to wake up happy everyday and love what I do for a living.”

Hernandez currently finds herself happiest when her boyfriend is around.

She realizes that baking is most enjoyable when she is does it for others.

“For me, it is more meaningful to take the time and bake something than to just go out and buy it,” Hernandez says with a smile on her face.

“And this way, I get to become a better baker and he gets to eat all the great things I make! It’s a win-win situation.”

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

• 1 1/2 c of graham cracker crumbs
• 2 T granulated white sugar
• 6 T unsalted melted butter Cheesecake Filling
• one 8 oz cream cheese
• 1/4 c granulated white sugar
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 c heavy whipping cream Topping
• Fresh Strawberries

Directions

Graham Cracker Crust

First, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in large bowl. Press the mixture into a nine inch pie pan and spread evenly.  Place crust mixture in refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.

Cheesecake Filling

In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla extract to the cream cheese. In separate bowl, beat whipping cream with  a whisk until it becomes fluffy in texture. Fold the fluffy whipped cream into the cream cheese. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust.  Let cheesecake chill overnight. Top with your strawberries, or other fresh fruits. Makes 6-8 servings.