Whoever it was that said "Midterms seem like a brilliant idea," clearly never had to study for them. This past month, I sold my soul to the library and dining halls and studied. Really, really hard. Now, for a few weeks at least, midterms are at bay and I can finally turn back to eating happier things than pizza.
This, of course, means cheesecake. 2 Stews, thank you, for coming up with a recipe so simple and brilliant: Cheesecake in the microwave. Seriously, this is one of those so-obvious-creations that it would take a genius to come up with it.
The premise is this:
"2 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons egg white, slightly beaten (egg whites in a carton work fine)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (prevents liquid from forming)
For "mix ins", add 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, or swirl in (not stir) 1 tablespoon jam of choice.
In a 1 cup or larger microwave proof mug, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with a small whisk. Mix in the sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon juice and cornstarch. Whisk about 2 minutes until light. Alternatively, the mixture may be mixed in a small bowl with a hand held electric mixer and then poured into the mug. Add any "mix-ins."
Microwave on medium for 2 1/2 minutes* (in a 650 watt microwave). Since microwave powers are different, you may need to experiment. You want the center to just start to bubble, and then stop cooking. If it is allowed to bubble and cook further, the mixture will "break" and you'll need to start over. Make a note of the successful cooking time for your microwave. Take out of the microwave and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 1 1/2-2 hours. If any liquid has formed, carefully pour out. Sprinkle with graham cracker mixture and top with any topping of your choice.
*I also had success with 1 minute 50 seconds on high." ~ 2 Stews
Ingenious, right? I changed a few things in my creation. I used a whole egg instead of egg whites, because the things in the carton are EXPENSIVE. I did the cooking for 2.5 minutes. Because I am one of the people who has to have fruit with all desserts, after I chilled my cheesecake, I made strawberry topping! To make this take fresh strawberries (about 5), slice them, dump about a tablespoon of sugar on them, mix, and let sit until the strawberry release their juices into a syrup. Pour this on top of your cheesecake for a true New York experience. I also have never dug the whole graham cracker crust, so I tried using the graham crackers as... well, crackers and spooned some cheesecake strawberry mix on top.
A word of caution, even in the microwave, cheesecake is really rich, be careful on overusing this recipe in a short period of time. Yes, I speak from experience.
So, thank you 2 Stews for bringing this dessert into existence. There has never been a more perfect Midterm Mitigation. OmNom =)
Side Note: It's been brought to my attention that a lot of the basics of College Microwave cooking are unknown, so we'll be doing a quick series of entries on that this week. Let me know if there is anything in particular you've been wondering about.