Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

OK, I admit it, I've gained weight since I started blogging. I am so kicking myself because I had lost weight before I started. I was just about where I wanted to be, weight-wise, before my latest obsession raised its calorie-laden head.

Confessions of a yo-yo dieter.

I'm starting to wonder if it's in a women's genes to have food issues. If we're heavy, we're trying to lose weight, or if we're not trying, then we're feeling bad about ourselves. If we're losing weight, it's like a campaign, a war to be fought and won. An enemy to conquer. If we're at the weight we want to be, it's a constant vigilance to maintain. And like a candle in the wind, it can be gone in an instant. Yesterday I was fine, today I am fat.

Here's my question of the day... do you have food issues? Are you happy with your weight? Have you gained weight since you started blogging? Do guys have these issues?

Speaking of gaining weight (cough, cough) how about a slice of Sweet Potato Cheesecake? *insert cheesy smile* (I know, I know, it makes no sense to be crying about gaining weight and then talking about cheesecake. No sense at all.)

I ran across this recipe at 4 Reluctant Entertainers, a fantastic website with so many mouth-watering recipes. (Click on the link for the recipe.)

This was a luscious, creamy cheesecake. More subdued than pumpkin cheesecake, but still delicious and spicy. I served this at our Thanksgiving get-together and asked guests if they could figure out the "mystery ingredient". Everyone said pumpkin.

While I'm on the subject of cheesecake, I wanted to share one of my favorite cheesecake tips, since I've baked more than a few in my day. (I know, I'm all over the place tonight.)

Here's the deal, you don't have to bake your cheesecake in a spring-form pan, which is shocking to hear, I know. Every recipe you've ever read includes a spring-form pan, but I'm here to tell you it's not required. I never use them anymore. I always use my 2" deep cake pans. Well, except for one time I went way out on a limb and used a Wilton character pan. (FYI, I brushed it liberally with melted butter and then coated that with sugar before adding the batter to the pan.)

One really nice thing about using regular pans is that you can totally dispense with that whole "wrapping the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil" business, if you feel the need to use a water bath. In addition, you can use any size pan you want, which is helpful when you're reducing recipes, and you don't have to mess around with the bottom of the spring-form pan at serving time.

So anyway, here's what you do... line your cake pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of your pan and bake your cheesecake just like you normally would. Cheesecake usually puffs up a little, but then shrinks back down, so you can fill your pan almost to the top. Cool, refrigerate overnight.

Here's Mr. Cheesecake, ready to be freed from the pan. (Please ignore that big cheesecake fart on the top.) Run your knife around the edge of the cheesecake.

Fill your sink, or a large bowl, with hot tap water (don't use boiling water, it's too hot and will melt the cheesecake) and dip the bottom inch of the pan in it. Count to 10 or 15.

Remove the pan from the water and dry the bottom of the pan.

Lay a piece of wax paper over your cheesecake.

Then a cutting board.

Place your hands on top of the cutting board and under the pan, and flip the whole thing over.

OK, people, this is the part that might be scary, but just trust me on this. Pick up the pan and cutting board and give it a good whack on the counter. Cheesecake out yet? No? Repeat a few more times. If Mr. Cheesecake is still in the pan, it's time to show him who's boss. Pick up the pan by itself, still upside down, and give it a good healthy whack on the cutting board. If that doesn't work, go back and warm up the pan bottom a bit longer and repeat the steps.

It's not as intimidating as it sounds. I've never had a cheesecake stick to the pan.

Here he is... free! (That's the bottom, in case you wondered.) Now go get your serving plate, place it upside down on the bottom and flip it over.


So there you go, you're no longer a slave to your spring-form pan.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I have been cutting back on the amount of sweets that pass my lips. I've been halving, and sometimes even quartering, recipes, sharing with neighbors, and (gasp!) even throwing away some of the leftovers, especially with those recipes that are only marginal.

OK, later!


Snooky doodle said...

Ha you made me laugh reading this post. But yeah you are true. I gained wieght since started blogging perhaps cause i see all those great recipes and always wanting to try them. then of course eating htem :) This cheesecake looks great and although i m not a fan of cheesecake its a nice tutorial which is helpful :)

kim said...

i definitely am with you on the weight thing! it's so hard to have a balance. the cheesecake looks delicious:) thanks for the tips on how to get it out! i have a springform but maybe i will use this for mini cheesecakes:)

Bunny said...

I've been a yo yo dieter for YEARS! I was never a size 8 kinda girl to begin with, it's just not in me. And on top of blogging , I work in a restaurant...I'm doomed!!! LOL!! I'm one of those women who always has 10 pounds to lose and never gets around to loosing it! I love these cheesecake tips, I never knew you could make them in regular pans! My problem is when I use a springform pan I don't know how to get the cheesecake off the bottom of that plate. If you don't mind me asking ...where did you get those little pans for the cheese cake, I really like those!

Engineer Baker said...

Yeah, I had to become okay with giving things away and tossing things that weren't that tasty. I hate the waste of ingredients, but it's worth it - costs less than a gym membership!

Lynn said...

Is there a woman alive that doesn't have weight issues? If you are overweight you worry about losing weight, if you are thin, you are worrying about gaining weight. And men? Most men I know, don't care one wit about their weight. Why is that? LOL

Anyway your cheesecake looks super.

Geri said...

Wow great tip! Thanks, and your cheesecake looks fabulous!

SugarEd Productions said...

You are brilliant! Thanks for the how to on the cake pans; I hate springform pans. I just cought up on your last few posts and boy do you make me feel inadequate girl! You are a baking goddess! One thing looks more beautiful than the next!

Yes, I have food and weight issues. I watched my mom die at a pretty young age moslty due to obesity issues so I make sure I do not let myself get that big. But I could, easily. I do lose and gain the same 10 pounds every year though,LOL

Keep up the fabulous blogging; you are my inspiration!

Steph said...

I know exactly what you mean! I've gained weight too, well actually its more like I gained fat because the weight gain isn't too much (2-3 lbs) except on a 5'2 frame, it sort of is.. haha. I was just thinking about the whole, weight issue the other day. It seems like there's never a meal or dessert that goes by without thinking about how many g of sat fat or how much sugar I'm consuming. I wish I was back in those high school days when none of this mattered and my metabolism could deal with all the extra calories! I don't think it's just women though, guys seem to be pretty conscious too. I guess it shows how the media has turned us all into a weight watching population.

The cheesecake tip is great! I was a little scared watching it flipped over, but it turned out perfect.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I've definitely put on weight since joining TWD and food blogging! I love your tips for baking cheesecake in something other than a springform pan!

SaraLynn said...

What a great post!

This sounds heavenly! and I appreciate the tips on using non-springform pans for cheesecake...they are a pain sometimes!

Food issues...of course!

alexandra's kitchen said...

i hate to admit it, but I think all women — fat or slim — have weight issues. it's just as you desrcibe.

I love your method of removing cheesecake. this is so what I want to hear because i despise my spring form pan. it leaks and burns things. great tips!

Grace said...

come on, now--that just means there's more of you to love. :)
and sweet potato cheesecake is worth a few extra ounces on the seat cushion... :)

Gigi said...

The cheesecake looks fab! Thanks for all the step by step pics and instructions. I can't wait to try this method out!

As far weight issues ...what woman doesn't? I never-never make a full recipe and always give away everything. If I can't ...then I throw it out. I know wasteful but I want to be on this planet for awhile.

Great post!

Natashya said...

I am here for you, sister. I won't let you eat that cheesecake alone. Pass me a slice, please.

Vera said...

Jacque, I totally agree with everything you are saying! I have all these issues and guys have none!
The cake looks amazing and so tiny!

farida said...

Your cheesecake looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

Jude said...

Nice texture on the cheesecake... Thanks for the tips!

n.o.e said...

OK, I'm trying this technique next time. My cheesecake (last week's post) leaked even though it was double wrapped. And yeah, I was nearly at my perfect weight when I started food blogging. I haven't gained much more than a couple of pounds, but I was hoping to lose a couple instead. I'm determined though - the weight loss was hard fought.

Sean said...

I would like this recipe for Sweet potato cheese cake, but the link has expired or just does not work?

fl said...

Hi can you pls give the recipe for the sweet potato cheesecake. It is no longer on that site and I would like to make it for thanksgiving. Thanks