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Lynna Clark: Decadent cheesecake recipe

Lynna Clark

My kids seldom ask for anything. It’s true. Our three grown daughters with children of their own seem very content with the life they live. It’s hard to get them to share a Christmas list. So they end up getting bedroom shoes or something exciting like that.

Our middle daughter Amanda is much like me in that she cannot eat whatever she wants all willy-nilly. Both of us are fearfully and wonderfully made; actually more fearful than wonderful. So when she had a special request for her birthday I determined to grant her wish.

I had no idea she’d request a gluten-free cheesecake. She could compromise on the dairy and the sugar since it would be her birthday dessert. But what could I do for the crust? Besides, I’ve never made a good cheesecake in my life. My first attempt was lovingly dubbed the Chainsaw Cheesecake. It was not delicious. But it was memorable.

A later attempt was made when my sister Tamra gave me her recipe. It came out beautiful… until I removed the spring form pan. That thing ran right down the side of the counter into a puddle on the floor. I think I may have shed a few tears. The details are a bit fuzzy. It was not delightful.

This time David and I put our heads together and gave it another shot. For the crust we used toasted pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then using recipes from my sister and my niece Sara we gleaned enough to try again.

It turned out perfect!

However! Here are a few tricks that seemed to make a difference between this cheesecake and the others.
• First, set your cream cheese out early so it’ll come to room temperature
• Next spray or grease your spring form pan way more than you think you need to
• Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then COOL the pan for about 20 minutes
• Pour a little of the cheesecake batter onto the crust; smooth with a spatula then slowly add the rest; this helps the crust stay in place
• Tent the top of the pan with foil but don’t seal; this keeps the top from browning too much
• Add a pan of water [about one inch] on the rack below the cheesecake to prevent cracking
• Don’t open the oven while baking
• Leave in the oven overnight
• Chill the cheesecake before serving
• Pray

What? You mean you’ve never prayed over a dessert before? Me neither! Maybe that’s why this one finally turned out. Here’s the recipe. You’re also going to want to top this with homemade caramel sauce.
And we wonder why we waddle.

Crust: Toast about 2 cups of pecans in a little butter in a skillet; salt very lightly; chop then add to bottom of greased 8 inch spring form pan; Top with semi-sweet morsels; bake at 400 for 10 minutes; cool 20
Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 400; reduce to 300 when cheesecake is put into oven
Cream together:
• 3 blocks of cream cheese
• 1 c. sugar
• 5 eggs [one at a time]
Smooth batter over cooled crust; bake one hour; turn oven off but don’t open; let cheesecake rest in oven overnight

Okay, so I peeked at it a few hours later once the oven had cooled. But I didn’t move it… honest.
Caramel sauce: [From the Pioneer Woman]
In a saucepan on medium heat melt and stir together
• 1 stick butter
• 1 c. brown sugar
• ½ cup cream or half and half
• ¼ teaspoon salt

Stir until smooth; cook 2 minutes after it starts to bubble; whisk until smooth; cool before tasting or you will scorch the roof of your mouth; don’t ask me how I know.

David also made homemade whipped topping from heavy whipping cream… because obviously this dessert needed more yumminess. It was a little bit decadent.

May your dessert turn out lovely! May your birthday wishes come true! And may you never have to cut your cheesecake with a chainsaw.

Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderfulLife.wordpress.com

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