Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Belgian Cheesecake - George Leonard Herter's Recipe


I didn't create this one. It's the best cheesecake I've ever eaten. It doesn't stick in the tummy. I suppose it's better called a cheesecake mousse, but that's for food philosophers. Of which I am not one. Sorta.

Belgian Cheesecake - GL Herter
Yield: 16 servings - about 236 calories per serving
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Preparation Time: 2 hours
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Belgiim
Source: Bull Cook & Authentic Historical Recipes by George Leonard Herter

12 ozs. cream cheese
12 fl. ozs. water - divided as 1 cup and 1/2 cup
4 ozs. sugar
10 grams gelatin - unflavored - or 1 1/2 packets - confused? Try 2 lvl. tsp.
4 whole eggs - yolks separated from the whites - both reserved
1 packet graham crackers - usually 3 packets per box, or 2 - not critical
2 ozs. butter
8 fl. ozs. whipping cream
2 1/2 tbs. lemon juice - strained
 zest of 1 lemon - minced

If you are using more than lemon juice, do not make the total liquid
flavorings more than 2 1/2 tbs.

Remove the eggs and cream cheese from the 'frig 2 hours before

In a bain-marie, put 1 cup of cold water and add the gelatin. Allow to
rest 1 minute to allow the gelatin to fully hydrate. Turn on the heat,
add the sugar and while the pot comes to heat, separate the egg yolks
and whites, reserving both. Beat the yolks with 1/2 cup of water. When
the sugar is fully dissolved, stir in the yolks. Stir constantly and
cook this way for 8 minutes. Remove the bain-marie from the heat. Cut
the cream cheese into 1/2" cubes, beat in the lemon juice and zest.
Make this into a smooth paste. Add the paste, a large spoonful at a
time into the egg-custard in the bain-marie. When all is incorporated
chill in the 'frig about 45 minutes. The mixture should be chilled but
should not set, so check at 30, 40 and 45 minutes.

In a food processor, put the broken up graham crackers, 1/4 cup of
sugar and 4 tbs. of butter. Spin the blade a few times to thoroughly
incorporate the ingredients. Use 1/2 or 3/4 of this to line a
springform pan. The remainder will make a topping for the cheesecake.
Chill this while you make the whipped cream.

In a chilled bowl whip the cream. Separately in a chilled copper bowl,
whip the 4 egg whites. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese
mixture and then fold the whipped egg whites after that. Pour all that
into the graham cracker lined springform pan, cover with the remaining
graham crackers to make a topping. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 3
to 4 hours.

This is best used up the day it is made.