My mother was trained and worked as a pastry chef in New York City before I was born. This means I was a very, very lucky child. I always was fed well and had the best-looking and best-tasting birthday cakes a child could imagine. This July, I got to return the favor for my mother's birthday by making her a delicious cheesecake, which the family promptly devoured within 2 days (keep in mind that this was a dense, 9 inch round cheesecake...my family has quite the appetite).
My mom's cheesecake recipe is wonderfully smooth, with a simple butter cookie crust rather than the heavily flavored graham cracker crust that most other cheesecakes have. When she first started baking, this was the magic recipe that got her noticed by the pros. I always looked at her cheesecake with a sort of reverence. It's the kind of dessert that is served simply, either plain or with some glazed berries on top to cut the creaminess. I see all of these fancy flavored cheesecakes now with chocolate infusions, raspberry swirls, and myriads of toppings (see: Cheesecake Factory). And sure, some of these are good, but I will always think that cheesecake is best served plain. How else can we fully appreciate the creamy, cheesy, goodness?
What do you guys think? Any flavored cheesecake recipes out there that will change my mind? Also, any creative crust ideas?
(Note: I apologize for not including the magical recipe. My mom would have disowned me if I shared her secret.)