Posted: March 17, 2011 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa, The Great Adventure | No Comments »
We kicked off a new week today and we all came back well rested from the weekend and ready to go. Since we were all pretty fresh, I thought we could work on something a little more involved. So we worked on cheesecake in the morning. First we made the crusts and then while those baked, we worked on the filling.
First they creamed together 20 oz of cream cheese with 1-1/2 cups of sugar. They they added 5 eggs and 2 egg yolks. Teaching them to separate eggs was interested. I showed them how to use the shells to separate, but also how to use their hand, which I find easier. None of them was willing to touch a raw egg though….wimps.
After they added the eggs and mixed, they put in 1/4 c of sour cream, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, and 1-1/2 tsp of vanilla. Once everything was mixed together, they poured the filling into the cooled crusts and put the oven at 450 for 15 minutes, after 15 min, turn the oven down to 225 and bake for 1 hour 15min. Once baked, they cooled them in the oven with the door open for about 30 min. They turned out amazingly well! Especially considering it was their first attempt. Only one cracked, but I think that was because it was toward the back of the oven where it was hotter.
During some of our down time I also taught them how to make chocolate ganache and caramel sauce, both of which were delicious.
Since we had to use 2 egg yolks, everyone had 2 egg whites left over after making the cheesecake. Rather than throwing them out, I decided to use them to make meringue cookies. So after they were done cleaning the kitchen, we went back to the mixers and put on the whisk attachments. both egg whites went into the bowl and were beaten until they were frothy. Then we added 2/3 C of sugar slowly, while beating the eggs. Once they added about half the sugar, they added 1 tsp vanilla. Then they kept adding the sugar until it was all incorporated and the meringue was shiny and tight (holds its shape well). Once that was done, they folded in about a cup of chocolate chips, and dropped spoonfuls onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. These will not spread when they bake, so you don’t have to worry too much about spacing them.
My grandmother used to call these forgotten cookies, because of the way they are baked. Preheat the oven to 350. Once it gets to temperature, put the cookies in and turn the oven OFF. Leave the cookies in the oven undisturbed for at least 2 hours. You can literally put them in and then forget them (hence the ‘forgotten cookie’ name). The kids were hesitant to try these because they are a little different, but once they tried them, most couldn’t stop eating them.
I took everything to the dining hall after we were done and both the cake and cookies got rave reviews. They did really well today, so it was a great way to kick off the week!