Tuesday 25 June 2013

Free-form Balsamic-Strawberry Cheesecake with Milk's "Liquid Cheesecake" Base

Have I mentioned already how much I love cheesecake?  Very much like lovers of raw cookie dough, I intentionally leave a few spoonfuls (spoons-full?) in the bowl of that delicious gooey batter.  When I first received the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook as a gift, I was excited to check out recipes from a baker (Christina Tosi) that could impress David Chang the way Chang's Momofuku cuisine had impressed me (OK well, impressing David Chang is a much bigger deal than impressing me, but you know what I mean).  I did not realize I would discover someone whose love of cheesecake batter would not only rival mine, but actually gross me out a bit (you'll have to read for yourself about her childhood obsession with Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake).

I am using Tosi's signature cheesecake recipe, "Liquid Cheesecake" to make my own informal version of a strawberry cheesecake.  I have left out the cornstarch and simplified the technique, but otherwise followed the recipe directly.   The liquid cheesecake is spooned over broken butter cookies and topped with balsamic-roasted strawberries (just add a Tbsp or two of balsamic vinegar with some strawberries and bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes to add a deep, rich flavour to the berries).

If the cheesecake mixture is made ahead of time, it should be slightly re-warmed (microwave) before putting this together.  Crumble some butter cookies and put some at the bottom of the serving cup.  Add some of the cheesecake mixture, then top with balsamic-roasted strawberries and some additional butter cookie pieces.

Liquid Cheesecake Recipe

8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 egg


Cream the sugar with the cream cheese.  Whisk separately the egg, milk and salt.  Stream in the egg slurry and blend until mixture is smooth.

Pour cheesecake into a 6x6 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper, bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees F.  Cheesecake should be firm-ish around the edges and loose in the middle.  If too jiggly, bake another 5 or 10.

According to Tosi, if the batter begins to rise more than a 1/4 inch or begins to brown, remove immediately from heat.  Cool completely.  The mixture should then be spreadable, smearable, or otherwise gooey for various uses.  Store in container for up to 1 week in fridge (if it lasts that long!).


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