Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spice Up Your Plain Jane Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe!

Do you always make the same vanilla cheesecake with a fruit topping, like cherry, strawberry or blueberry?  Maybe it is time to spice up that cheesecake by adding a little umph to the batter.

Start with your best cheesecake recipe.  This recipe by Kraft is a pretty good starting point (just ignore the topping ingredients) and then try any of the following:

Make it Pumpkin-Spiced:
  • For a pumpkin-spiced cheesecake that tastes like an awesome pumpkin pie, simply add 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of mace to your vanilla cake batter.  You can also add a few tablespoons of Molasses to give it a brown sugar flavour like a true pumpkin pie should have.
  • Top with a cinnamon-spiced pumpkin topping (simmer 2 cups chopped pumpkin, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 2/3 cup brown sugar on stove top for about 15 minutes, constantly stirring).
  • You could also top it with a pumpkin-spiced buttercream by adding the same spices (as above) to your homemade or store-bought buttercream.
  • Make it chocolaty by topping it with a milk chocolate ganache (milk chocolate pairs best with pumpkin spice).
  • If you really want to change up your cheesecake and get that full pumpkin pie flavour, try this PIECAKEN.

Make it an Oreo Cheesecake:
  • Crumble up 1 cup of Oreo cookies and mix it into the cake batter just before you pour it in the pan. For a darker cookies-and-cream look, also add in 1/4 cup of Oreo Crumbs.
  • Top it with a semi-sweet ganache for a chocolaty finish!

Make it a Triple Chocolate Chip Cheesecake:
  • Stir in 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips into the batter just before pouring it into the pan. Make a dark chocolate ganache topping and stir in swirls of melted milk and white chocolate for a decorative topping.
The key is to EXPERIMENT with flavours. You can never go wrong with cheesecake!

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