baking therapy: cheesecake

It was my coworker’s birthday on Monday, and as office manager, it falls within the vast scope of my duties to provide a dessert and organize the eating of said dessert. For David’s birthday I decide to make a cheesecake. And no, this is not the super top-secret recipe to Nonnie’s famous cheesecake. I’m not giving that one up this easy.

Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Sauce

For the cake
1 1/2 cup ground shortbread cookies
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) fromage blanc (you could also use crème fresh or ricotta)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Melt butter and mix with cookie crumbs. Press cookie mixture firmly onto bottom of a springform pan. Wrap outside of pan tightly with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil so water doesn’t leak in while baking. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, fromage blanc, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Pour batter over prepared crust in pan. Place cake in roasting pan; add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan.

Bake cake until set but center moves very slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Remove cake from roasting pan; cool 1 hour at room temperature. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

For the sauce
1 -2 cups mixed berries (I used frozen … it’s cheaper)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Simmer berries, water, sugar in a medium saucepan over medium low heat for 20 minutes. Strain out seeds through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

Serve with sauce, garnish with a few fresh berries.

Conclusions: Well, it was gone so fast I wasn’t even able to take a picture and a coworker asked for the recipe. I consider it a job well done.

-Emily