The Baking Bible: Fourth of July Cheesecake

In addition to having a cookbook of the month, the Food52 Baking Club also has a book of the year, and this year’s book is The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. We’ve only recently gotten our hands on this book, but when I saw there was a Fourth of July Cheesecake, I begged Aaron to make it for our patriotic dinner celebration. He has since made another one of the cheesecakes, and I’m sure another post will follow soon from him.

I’m again adding this post to the I Blog on Tuesdays linkup hosted by Kylie Purtell. We are still aware that people are having a hard time leaving comments on my blog. It is an ongoing issue and if that happens for you, I apologize. We’re still working to resolve it but I really appreciate you coming by to check out my blog regardless – thank you!

So apparently I’ve become the cheesecake king in our household,  so for July 4th, Jen assigned me with one of the biggest (if not the biggest) single baking projects of my illustrious baking career.

The goes to about 4 or 5 pages! It comprises 4 recipes – red velvet cake for the base, the actual cheesecake filling, an absolutely delicious white chocolate icing, and a blueberry glaze to top everything off. Well, there is a 5th recipe, too – a raspberry preserves coating, but that is just raspberry jam passed through a sieve.

In theory, the red velvet cake base should be cooked in a pan slightly bigger than the cheesecake, but who has the time for that, right? 😉 Needless to say, there was always gonna be overhang between the cheesecake and the base, but that’s what icing is for. Who’s with me?!

The red velvet cake was lovely and red, and rose probably a little more than I thought it would, but that allowed for my to do some required levelling of the cake once it had cooled, to present a more level surface for the cheesecake.

I’ll be honest with you – there is no way I though the cheesecake was going to cook in our oven – it is dodgy at best, as well as cooking the cheesecake in a waterbath adding to the unknown performance of the baking process. 175C for 20 minutes, then rotate the cheesecake, and bake for a further 25 minutes, then turn the oven off, leave that door closed, and hope that in one hour when you pull it out, it’s done. And it was!

The most nerve racking part of the process was flipping the cheesecake in order to get the red velvet cake base in place. Made even more nerve racking because the instructions made it easy by lowering a cling wrap lined round cake tin over the top of the cheesecake to facilitate the flipping. Do I look like someone who has a cake round that would work for that?! Instead I used the bottom of the springform pan I used to cook the red velvet cake, and this made the process a little less scary.

In the end, flipping the cheesecake, and flipping it back again, was a lot less stressful than I imagined it would be. But there was that overhang.

No worries though, there was plenty of the delicious white chocolate buttercream to fill in the gaps, and to top it nicely. While the recipe called for fresh blueberries, I used frozen ones, and I think that actually helped in cooling the glaze when it was poured over them.

All in all, this project took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was definitely worth it. Cheesecake is so good, and this one – all of the elements – were exceptional, if I must say so myself. And I felt very patriotic making it.