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Don Y[_3_] Don Y[_3_] is offline
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Default Cheesecake, Not Don Y's 5 hour

On 5/17/2016 3:59 PM, HerHusband wrote:
I "thin" the cream cheese with heavy cream, sour cream or milk
(depending on the Rx i am targeting). This makes for a "lighter"
product -- one that folks seem eager to go for seconds or thirds
(a NY-style cake seems to be a "self-limiting" proposition -- one
slice is usually enough).

One of the best cheesecakes I've ever eaten was a bourbon cheesecake at a
local restaurant. Rich and creamy, no cracks, not doughy but not some
wimpy fluffy cake either. I don't know what their secret was, but it was
amazing. Ironically we weren't impressed with the restaurant otherwise
and haven't been back since.

The WORST cheesecake was given to us as a gift. I don't know where they
bought it but it tasted like sawdust and flour. Absolutely disgusting. Of
course, we still ate it all.

Growing up, the folks in my extended family would have preferred fresh
cannoli to cheesecake. Yet another huge time sink in preparation...
and mere gulpseconds to see it all disappear!

Again, I don't like any of these things so what I make has been largely
determined by what folks around me enjoy eating. And, as its no skin
off THEIR back, those same folks see nothing wrong with shoveling it
down in one day!!

[The appeal of biscotti is that folks can discipline themselves to eat
two or maybe three at a time. I wrap them two per package as one per
package would invariably lead to a second (and then third and fourth!)
package being opened. If you put three in a package, then they
WILL eat three in a sitting. With just two in a package, they'll
hesitate before opening a second package (cuz they think four is too
many). So, I can get a week's consumption out of a batch (for a "couple";
two weeks for a single individual)]

I'm learning to think beyond the "making" step. E.g., SWMBO gets a batch
of biscotti every two weeks. This gets tiring (2-2.5 hours per batch)
and hard on the hands (imagine mixing cement with a wooden spoon).

So, I got clever and started cutting the slices a little thinner.
She retaliated by eating THREE at a time -- and there weren't 50%
more slices in the batch so I ended up having to make it MORE often!

[She's now terrified that I may stop making them as it is really hard
on my hands trying to stir that "concrete". Keeps looking for a
cushioned spoon for me (does she think I don't understand her
motivation??) : ]

I'm not fond of cheese (unless melted on a pizza or grated over "red
sauce". Cream cheese is perhaps the most disgusting -- it just looks
like a giant block of slimey FAT! (I buy the 3 pound blocks from

I never liked cheese until I met my wife. Her family was very low income
and would get 5 pound blocks of cheese from the food banks. So they ate a
lot of cheese. When I met my wife she would cut some up into slices and
start chewing. I'm like "you are just going to EAT it"? Up till then I
had only had cheese IN things (pizza, grilled cheese sandwich, etc.).

I eat cheese:
- on pizza (usually mozarella on the dough, then romano on the toppings
and parmessan on the romano), melted
- on grinders (provolone/caciocovallo), again, melted
- on red sauce (siciliano pepato), grated (so almost melted from the heat
of the sauce)

If I order a burger somewhere and it arrives with (any kind of) cheese
on it, I send it back. "Cold" (hard/firm) cheese I'll carefully remove
from a salad/antipasto and sit on the side of my plate.

These days we eat all things cheese, especially pepper jack, smoked
gouda, or any of the specialty cheeses. We enjoy seeking out unique
cheese and giving them a try. I still don't care for any of the "moldy"
cheeses like bleu cheese or roquefurt.

The siciliano pepato is reasonably hard to come by. Esp aged for a very
long time. I've managed to find what they *call* "suitable for grating",
here, but it is very soft -- not aged long at all. I used to bring 20
pounds back from New England on plane trips. But, it is REALLY pungent
and a hassle to get through metal detectors (lots of nondescript "blocks"
wrapped in metal foil???)

Asiago on bread or seafood pasta is amazing.

SWMBO puts cheese on most things. I'll be making braised asparagus
ww/ linguine aglio e olio tomorrow night (was supposed to do that tonight
but got distracted). She'll dutifully *cover* her serving with shredded
Romano (sheesh! How can you taste the garlic through all that cheese?)

A typical Friday movie night almost always includes a glass of red wine,
cheese, and crackers.

If SWMBO drags out cheese and crackers, it'll give me an excuse to make
a steak (she's not fond of beef). Or, if I have a Bolognese sauce handy,
I'll heat some in the microwave and spread it over a grinder roll; gives
me my "fix" of bread, meat and, of course, SAUCE! :

I made some brownies for a neighbor. Daughter came walking out of the
house eating one: "Did you make these from scratch?" (is there any
other way??) "Wow! My mom has NEVER made them from scratch!" Her Mom
didn't look too pleased at that!

My sister-in-law is big on prepackaged foods. I can't stand the stuff.
Brownies, pasta sauces, etc. should ALWAYS be made from scratch!

Unfortunately, they take a lot more time (I am obsessed with time).
And, not all folks appreciate the time (and expense) involved.
"Hey, if you can't taste the difference, why should I bother??"
I have to consider, carefully, who I'm "targeting" for the treat.
I try to make note of who likes what, and which variations (he
likes chewwy; she likes crunchy; little Timmy doesn't like nuts; etc.)
Plus, dietary/health restrictions (allergic to tomatoes; low sodium;
peanut allergy; etc.). And, "other" (e.g., I use liqueurs in many of
my creations; one "alcoholic" friend won't touch any of these -- even
if the alcohol has all been burned off in preparation!)

Amusingly, one of the sweets that I enjoyed most, growing up, was a
"chocolate cake with vanilla frosting" (yet I am not fond of chocolate).
Some years later, I was home for my bday and my mom asked if I wanted
"anything special". I said, "Yeah! Show me how to make that cake!"

She was puzzled and we spent some time trying to figure out WHICH cake
I meant. She finally exclaimed, "Oh, the BOX cake!" I'd never heard
it called that. I was expecting "chocolate something-or-other". When
I asked why it was called "Box Cake", she laughed: "Cuz its the (only)
cake that I make from a (premixed) BOX!"

[It's really not a very good cake -- more like the cake version of
white bread/air pudding. But, it is a reasonably inert "vehicle"
to transport the yummy "from scratch" butter frosting to your mouth!]

The other "favorite" is a style of cocoa-flavored cookies (did I mention
I DON'T like CHOCOLATE?? : ) that are typically made over the holidays.
Almost like little fruit cakes: cherries, nuts, raisins, cocoa, etc.
They are a huge undertaking -- and practically no one (except my ex-BinL)
likes them, other than me. So, I seldom make them. When I *do*, I will
eat 10 pounds in 72 hours. And, spend much of that time on the porcelain
throne (WAY too much fruit for my system to process!). Again, a solid
day of work and they're gone in the blink of an eye...