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CREAM Many of the recipes call for cream, either
sweet or sour. Usually the cream is added to lighten the cake or
provide a richer flavor. SWEET CREAM: Cream comes in several
different grades, depending upon the fat content. Heavy cream
contains about 40 percent butterfat, 5 percent milk solids, and over
50 percent water. it has about 53 calories per Tablespoon. Light
cream contains about 20 percent butterfat and 7 percent milk solids;
the rest is water. It has about 32 calories per Tablespoon. Half and
half, a blending of heavy cream and milk has about 12 percent
butterfat, 7 percent milk solids and 51 percent water. It has about
20 calories per Tablespoon. Heavy cream is added to the ingredients
of a cheesecake most often as whipped cream. When whipped, heavy
cream will double in volume; for best results, use a chilled bowl and
chilled beaters. Often confectioners sugar is added as the cream
begins to stiffen to help retain the volume. Heavy cream is
perishable, so buy only as much as you plan to use within the next
few days. A new ultrapasteurized type of cream is now widely
available which has a much longer life. Many people find that it does
not whip up as high and that it lacks much of the flavor of the more
traditional kind. We leave the choice to you. Light cream is used
less often in baking but is available in most supermarkets. It is
also very perishable and should be purchased in small quantities. In
most cheesecake recipes where light cream is indicated, half and half
may be substituted. Half and half is also available in most
supermarkets, but you can mix up your own from equal quantities of
whole milk and heavy cream. SOUR CREAM: This is cream that has been
processed commercially so as to be soured under ideal conditions. It
contains about 20 percent butterfat, about 7 percent milk solids and
the remainder is water. There are about 30 calories per Tablespoon.
Sour cream is sold in containers varying from one half pound to one
pound. It is usually dated, so check for freshness when you purchase
the container. Sour cream will last up to two weeks in the
refrigerator. Most brands seem to be uniformly good. SUGAR AND OTHER
SWEETENERS Every desert cheesecake requires a sweetening of some
kind. Most of the recipes use granulated sugar. However, it is
possible to substitute brown sugar or honey in almost all of the
recipes. HONEY: Remember that honey will make your cheesecakes
darker, which you may find undesirable. And, since it is less soluble
than granulated sugar, it is necessary to be especially careful that
it is blended into the cheese mixture. Honey is used as the sweeter
in such cheese cakes as Yogurt No-Bake Cheesecake and No Bake Honey
Cheese Pie, but if you want to use it in other cakes, you must adjust
the quantities. Since honey is sweeter and has a higher moisture
content than granulated sugar, use one-third less honey by volume
and, when possible, reduce the volume of other liquids by one-fourth
cup for each cup of honey used. This can be done by appropriately
varying the proportions of dry (cream cheese) and moist (sour cream)
dairy products. BROWN SUGAR: This is fine crystals of sugar coated
with molasses, sold in either a dark or light form. Brown sugar is
used as an ingredient in the Praline Cheesecake, but could be
substituted for granulated sugar in other cakes as well. As with the
honey, brown sugar will make your cake darker, and you must blend it
in well. Measurements will remain the same. We don t recommend using
the granulated brown sugar or the liquid form of brown sugar.
CONFECTIONERS SUGAR: Also commonly available, this sugar has been
crushed to a fine powder similarly in texture to cornstarch. It is
used in cheesecakes primarily in beating egg whites as a means of
stiffening them. Often it is also added to whipped cream as a
sweetening. FLOUR AND OTHER THICKENING AGENTS Although eggs are
generally best for holding together the ingredients of a successful
cheesecake, there are several other ingredients that can be used in
addition or in place of them. Flour and cornstarch also thicken the
batter and stabilize the moisture content. FLOUR: In most recipes, we
indicate either all purpose flour or self rising flour. The
all-purpose flour can be either bleached or unbleached and today
usually comes pre-sifted. If not, sift before measuring. Self-rising
flour is bleached flour to which has been added a leavening agent
such as baking powder. Whichever you use, remember to use it
judiciously. Too much flour will make the cheesecake tough.
CORNSTARCH: Finer than flour, cornstarch is more effective as a
thickening agent. As with the flour, too much cornstarch will leave
your cheesecake tough. GELATIN: Unflavored gelatin is commonly
available in one-ounce envelopes. It is a thickening agent that works
best when refrigerated, thus this is the basic ingredient in most of
the no-bake cheesecakes. It must be blended well with the
ingredients and completely dissolved. Too much gelatin will make a
rubbery cheesecake.


Servings: 1



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