Half and Half Cheesecake

Why wait for a holiday to eat cheesecake? We didn’t. Last week as the family gathered I wanted to make a dessert we hadn’t eaten in a while, so I played around with my basic cheesecake batter and came up with this sort of striped, half vanilla, half chocolate version. When even my grandson Remy, who is 2 and will not eat cheese, asked for “mo cheesecake, mo cheesecake!” I knew I had a winner. (Everyone else liked it too.) You might think cheesecake is too heavy for summer eating. But it doesn’t have to be. This recipe is light, but creamy and soft. Nice even on a hot hot day. You can make this cake all vanilla, of course (I would add some freshly grated lemon and/or orange peel, maybe 2-3 teaspoons grated) or all chocolate (increase the melted chocolate to 10 ounces). Among the great things about cheesecake is that you can make lots of changes easily to suit yourself and it’s still cheesecake. Like, you can serve it plain or cover it with glazed fruit. Or you can build a graham cracker crust inside. And so on. Also, you can save leftovers for another day: wrap in plastic and put in the freezer for months. Try this first and let your tastebuds take you from there: Half and Half Cheesecake 6 ounces semisweet chocolate 1-1/2 pounds cream cheese (3 8-ounce packages) 1 cup sugar 4 large eggs 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/3 cup dairy sour cream or unflavored yogurt  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water (or use a microwave oven). Set aside to cool. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer set on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, cream and sour cream. Remove half the batter to a second bowl. Add the melted chocolate to one of the halves and blend it in thoroughly. Spoon one of the batters into the prepared pan. Top with the second batter. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough hot water to come at least 1” up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until the cake is set and doesn’t shake when the pan is moved gently. Remove the springform pan from the larger pan and let the cake cool in the springform pan. When the cake has reached room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until it is thoroughly chilled. Remove the sides of the springform pan and cut the cake into slices using a knife that has been heated under hot water and dried. Makes one cake, 8-12 servings 

Why wait for a holiday to eat cheesecake?

We didn’t.

Last week as the family gathered I wanted to make a dessert we hadn’t eaten in a while, so I played around with my basic cheesecake batter and came up with this sort of striped, half vanilla, half chocolate version.

When even my grandson Remy, who is 2 and will not eat cheese, asked for “mo cheesecake, mo cheesecake!” I knew I had a winner. (Everyone else liked it too.)

You might think cheesecake is too heavy for summer eating. But it doesn’t have to be. This recipe is light, but creamy and soft. Nice even on a hot hot day.

You can make this cake all vanilla, of course (I would add some freshly grated lemon and/or orange peel, maybe 2-3 teaspoons grated) or all chocolate (increase the melted chocolate to 10 ounces).

Among the great things about cheesecake is that you can make lots of changes easily to suit yourself and it’s still cheesecake. Like, you can serve it plain or cover it with glazed fruit. Or you can build a graham cracker crust inside. And so on. Also, you can save leftovers for another day: wrap in plastic and put in the freezer for months.

Try this first and let your tastebuds take you from there:

Half and Half Cheesecake

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

1-1/2 pounds cream cheese (3 8-ounce packages)

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup dairy sour cream or unflavored yogurt 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water (or use a microwave oven). Set aside to cool. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer set on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, cream and sour cream. Remove half the batter to a second bowl. Add the melted chocolate to one of the halves and blend it in thoroughly. Spoon one of the batters into the prepared pan. Top with the second batter. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough hot water to come at least 1” up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until the cake is set and doesn’t shake when the pan is moved gently. Remove the springform pan from the larger pan and let the cake cool in the springform pan. When the cake has reached room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until it is thoroughly chilled. Remove the sides of the springform pan and cut the cake into slices using a knife that has been heated under hot water and dried. Makes one cake, 8-12 servings