The moment the dr bob cooking team spotted this cover recipe* in a stack of mail waiting after another summer trip to Italy, we knew we had to make it. Claes the pasta hating swede gave us the excuse we needed a few days later on a rare trip from where else, Sweden. We made it in the morning so it was waiting for us after then mandatory Jim's cheesesteak (4th and South, Philly) straight from the airport followed by the first of many (mostly action) movies. Of course the real thing is not as overwhelming a sight as the incredible cover photo, but the noncooking team members seemed suitably impressed, independent of the amazing low fat composition. The dr bob cooking team's judgment was more reserved, perhaps jaded by too many now distant memories of a variety of full fat killer chocolate cheesecake combinations. Nonetheless, with its high flavor low fat ratio, this cheesecake is not one to let slip away in the information glut we're all swimming in these days.
Unfortunately the $20,000 prize winning check the creator walked off with must have tilted the side of the brain responsible for the serving and maintenance instructions, since there were none. Nothing about refrigeration before or after serving. Perhaps they assumed it would be eaten in one sitting by the anxiously awaiting intended recipients as soon as it hit room temperature. We refrigerated it and served it cold. Numerous times. In small slices. Fat or no fat, no need to overdo it.
We e-mailed the cooking mag about the unresolved heat transfer aspects of the cheesecake problem. No surprisethey didn't respond. ms_ani did the second run through soon after, giving us the opportunity for fate to intervene with experimental evidence on the question. The remainder of the cake softened up pretty well after 4 hours in the car trunk on a late august afternoon when we extracted it for dessert at home after eating chinese. (Out.) Tastes much richer when soft. The crust was especially soft and pliable, nearly still in its dough stateperhaps because bob had forgotten the carrot baby food and had improvised with some previously opened fermenting pitted prunes from the closet (about 7 or 8?) that we pureed in our hand blender attachment with some hazelnut oil we'd picked up but never used, until they were sufficiently liquefied to replace the baby food? Or so we thought. But the same was true in successive renditions with the baby food. Must contribute to the rich chocolate sauce impression that it gives when served at room temperature?
On our third attempt we forgot to spray the pan first with cooking oil spray and even though it was a nonstick pan, it stuck. Since it was nonstick, we could only use a sharp plastic utensil to hack off the crust. We didn't lose much. But the bottom brownie crust looked more like chocolate glue than brownies, evidence that the prune puree substitute was not at fault in the second attempt.
We have made this cheesecake many more times, more than any other single recipe. Must be the low guilt factor.
* Cooking Light, August 1997, p.71. Contest winner: Pricilla Yee. Also online, but no mention of Pricilla.
Makes 12 servings, in usual wedge slices. Per slice:
calories 277 (24% from fat), fat 7.5g (sat 3.8g, mono 2.3g, poly 0.9g), protein 7.9g, carb 44.1g, fiber 1.3g, chol 18mg, iron 1.6mg, sodium 338 mg, calc 76mg