A wedding cheesecake. January 27, 2010Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: cheesecake, cheesecake recipe, wedding cheesecake
Silence Dogood here. While flying home on Sunday, I noticed that the woman in the next row up was reading a brides’ magazine. There was the photo of the stereotypical tiered white wedding cake (with a second tiered chocolate cake also pictured for variety).
As it happens, I’m actually fond of vanilla cake with white icing. But glimpsing that photo through the space between seats brought on one of those “Eureka!” flashes. The actual photo faded from mind, replaced by a glorious mental picture of a tiered wedding cheesecake.
Cheesecake is one of those sinful indulgences that I really love, but almost never eat, so in my mind it takes on almost mythical qualities of deliciousness and specialness, two qualities that every wedding cake ought to have. The cheesecake that I love is the denser, drier, almost flaky vanilla cheesecake that I always think of, rightly or wrongly, as New York style. It has that rich, creamy, old ivory color that speaks of the wealth of sensation waiting in every lingering bite. Like old money, it needs no ostentatious display, since what it is in its essence is already the best.
However. Good as it is, simply slapping a cheesecake on the wedding table would never do. This is, after all, a wedding cheesecake. The cheesecake I envision is tiered. Only the bottom tier has the Graham-cracker crust; the upper tiers are pure cheesecake. Each tier is glazed (on the top only) with a gorgeous coat of orange marmalade, the rich golds and oranges bringing out the lush creaminess of the cheesecake’s color. And around the bottom is a wreath of rosebuds nestled in sprays of rose leaves. The rosebuds alternate: one that matches the golden cream color of the cheesecake itself, followed by a pink rosebud, then a peach rosebud, and so on around the wreath, set off by the dark, glossy green of the foliage. (Can’t you just see the bride in an old ivory dress with a matching bouquet?)
Does this sound luscious and delightful to anyone but me? And is anyone else so food-obsessed that they match the bride’s outfit to the cake, rather than the other way ’round? Oh, well.
I’m not about to try to tell you how to make such a splendid cake—I’m no caterer—but in case reading this post has made you hungry for a slice (or two) of cheesecake, I will share a cheesecake recipe from my good friend Sarah Price. Unlike many cheesecake recipes I’ve seen, this one is so easy, you have no excuse not to make it. Or, as Anna Thomas says when introducing her (quite elaborate) chocolate cheesecake in The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two, “You only live once, so do it.”
Sarah’s Simple Cheesecake
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
5 large eggs (may reduce to 3 for a less eggy taste, but try all 5 the first time and see what you think)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (I’d make it a tablespoon, but then, I love vanilla!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (a round cake pan also works). Beat cheese until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and beat until smooth and thick. Pour into pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours. Cool and chill, then remove sides of pan, slice, and serve. (If using a regular cake pan, slice, lift, and serve right from the pan.)
See how easy that was?! And if anyone wants to try my wedding cheesecake, I tell you, it’s bound to take the bridal world by storm. All I ask is, won’t you save a slice for me (and maybe two for OFB)?
‘Til next time,