Don’t Be Afraid of Cheesecake, It’s All About the Water Bath [Seasonal Pairings, Profile Three]
January 25, 2021
The slight sweetness of our number three is complemented by the light heat of the ginger in the soup and the spices in the butter chicken. The medium body of this wine loves the dense richness of the cheesecake. So do we.
If you’re afraid of cheesecake, we get it. We’ve been there. Not the eating part, the water bath part. We wonder at a cake that needs its own bath. But it turns out to be pretty simple - and that's good, because we don’t do hassle.
CHEESE STARTER (OR DESSERT)
We love both muenster and feta with this wine.
CARROT AND GINGER SOUP
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots (6-7 large carrots), peeled and sliced thin
- 2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger (we like to peel it first)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (for a creamier version, substitute 1 cup of broth for 1 cup coconut milk.
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 thick (¼ inch wide) strips of orange peel (optional)
- Chopped parsley or cilantro
- Dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- Melt the butter in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onions, carrots and salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and start to turn translucent, about 7 minutes. Be careful not to let the onions and carrots get browned.
- Add stock (and coconut milk if using), ginger, and strips of orange zest. Bring to a boil, reduce and cover. Simmer until carrots are soft (use a fork to test), about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the strips of orange zest.
- Let the soup cool
- Oour into a blender. You can also use a stick blender, but transfer to a high-sided stock pot for this step.
- Add salt to taste.
Garnish and serve.
SPICED BUTTER CHICKEN
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 15
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups raw rice prepared in a rice cooker or on the stove.
As you set up for this recipe, you’ll want two separate bowls for separating the spices as you measure. A medium sized bowl for the chicken rub and a small bowl for the sauce.
- 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into large cubes
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or grated (3 cloves into each bowl)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger (1 tablespoon into each bowl)
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon garam masala (2 teaspoons into your rub bowl, 1 Tablespoon into your sauce bowl)
- 2 teaspoons cumin (1 teaspoon into each bowl)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (½ teaspoon into each bowl)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (½ teaspoon into each bowl)
- 1 teaspoon salt plus extra to taste (place the 1 teaspoon into your rub bowl)
- 2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (add to rub bowl)
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (or sub 1 cup cream)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly, chopped
- In a medium sized bowl, toss together the chicken, yogurt and your bowl full of rub spices. Let sit 5-10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and toss to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the onion and 2 tablespoons of butter, plus the rub spice mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add water and coconut milk. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring to combine and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon butter. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in additional coconut milk in ¼ cup increments. Add the chicken and any juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens again, just slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro.
Serve in bowls over warm rice.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
Serves: 8-12 slices
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 7 Tablespoons butter melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature (solid, not whipped)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional, but will give your cake a smoother taste)
- 3 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a small bowl with a fork, mix Graham cracker crumbs, sugars and butter until well combined.
- Place cracker mixture in your springform pan and press to evenly cover the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- On low to medium speed mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Don’t over mix.
- Add sour cream, vanilla extract, salt and lemon juice, and beat until fully combined.
- On medium speed add in half the eggs, incorporate fully and then add the remaining egg and a half.
- Stop mixing. To prevent falling and cracking while baking, avoid over mixing.
- Pour cheesecake batter into Graham-cracker lined springform pan.
THE WATER BATH
- Protect your cheesecake from the water bath with one of these methods:
- Wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan with aluminum foil.
- Place your springform pan inside a slightly larger cake pan.
- Use a silicone pan protector.
- Place your protected cheesecake in a roasting pan or large casserole dish.
- Fill as full as you can (without getting your cheesecake wet) with almost boiling water - as hot as you can get out of the tap, or use a tea kettle.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 55-70 minutes until center is just slightly wiggly. If cheesecake starts to brown on top too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
- Turn oven off and open the door just a crack. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove everything from the oven and the cheesecake from the water bath. Let cool completely at room temperature (on top of the stove is great if you’re not cooking or baking anything else).
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator immediately before serving and loosen from pan.
- Cut with a sharp knife that you wipe clean in between slices. (This prevents crumbs and makes a lovely smooth edge on each slice.)
Serve plain or top with berries, caramel, chocolate shavings or sauce, anything you like!