It’s a babycake!

July 21, 2016

Not the prettiest one I ever made, but pretty tasty.

Not the prettiest one I ever made, but pretty tasty.

I love cheesecake. I have an absolutely marvelous cheesecake recipe, and I make it for special occasions or when there’s going to be a crowd to feed, because my recipe makes a nine-inch springform pan plumb full.

So on the eGullet forum, folks started talking about making cheesecake in the Instant Pot. Now, I would not have had an Instant Pot in the first place, were it not for eGullet, and I’ve picked up a lot of good tips and such there. Not to mention that I learn very quickly about assorted accessories for different kitchen appliances that I’d have never thought about otherwise.

Like a 6 1/2 inch springform pan that, gee whiz, fits perfectly inside the Instant Pot so you can steam your cheesecake while not tying up your oven for the hour and a quarter it takes to bake, plus the four hours it has to sit in the oven after you turn the oven off. Without opening the door. You think THAT won’t put a cramp in your cooking style, think again.

So when I saw a post about the 6 1/2-inch springform pan and how it fit snugly inside the Instant Pot, that struck me as a solution for two different problems. I have a requirement that any new piece of kitchen gadgeteria must fulfill at least two roles; solving two problems appears to me to fulfill that requirement.

Or that’s what I told myself when I ordered it.

Babycakes pan, inside the nine-inch springform.

Babycakes pan, inside the nine-inch springform.

It came in a few days ago, and I stashed it in the cabinet to await the first opportunity I had to make a cheesecake. As my friend Kate was visiting, and it was her birthday, I decided that time had come.

My cheesecake recipe, and I’ve tried a hundred of ’em over the years, is in this blog post. I cut the recipe in half for the small pan, using two eggs plus a yolk. I cut back to 3/4 cup of sugar because, well, I don’t like a real sweet cheesecake.

Per the Instant Pot directions, I folded a paper towel over the top of the pan, and put foil over that. Made a little aluminum foil “sling” and lowered the pan into the pot, into which I’d put two cups of water and its trivet. Set it to 40 minutes on steam, and walked off.

It worked like a charm, except that the paper towel stuck to the top of the cheesecake and pulled the browned crust off, which did not hurt the taste. The taste profile was different because I was out of sour cream and subbed cottage cheese blended with lemon juice. but I think with the sour cream, it would be real hard to tell the difference in the taste of it and my regular one.

eGullet posters say I don’t need the paper towel, so I’ll leave it off next time. One said she doesn’t even use foil over the top. I could also avoid the issue by not filling the pan quite so full.

Even better, it makes eight small serving pieces, which is just about right (considering the big one makes, well, twice that).

The only downside I see is that I’m likely to make more cheesecakes, which means I’m likely to EAT more cheesecakes, which is, well, not necessarily good. It may be that you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have to come visit so I have an excuse to make and enjoy one with no leftovers.

 

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