Thursday, June 23, 2011

When my pastry class was cancelled the other day, I decided to invite my friends to my home instead.

I was really disappointed there weren’t enough people signed up for my class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute. Luckily, I knew three of the gals and immediately asked if they’d want to meet during the afternoon instead.

A resounding yes!

So Monday morning, I printed out my recipes, measured and prepped all the ingredients and organized the kitchen for us. It was just like being back in my professional kitchens. I’m so happy I brought my 10-piece glass bowl set with me. I use it all the time to organize my ingredients!

I had a great time talking, laughing and sharing my knowledge with these friends. We all come from different backgrounds and places - the Midwest, Oklahoma, Ohio and the Congo - and are here for different reasons, which involve our husbands, of course.

They all agreed that the recipes were fairly easy! Exactly! That’s what I always try to point out to people. Anyone can cook or bake once you take the time to do it.

My friend and fellow blogger, Sheryl, at The Altered Passport, is offering up a challenge for those in the U.S. to make my recipe below. Please click over to her blog to read more and see all the photos she took from our fun afternoon.

I think I would like to host more pastry and baking classes like this one in my home this fall. Any locals interested?

Afiyet olsun!
Photo of a plain Turkish-NY style cheesecake topped with my homemade
cherry compote. Two of the recipes I taught my friends.

Joy’s No-Bake Cheesecake
Yields: about 8 individual glasses or 1 - 8 or 10 inch-round cheesecake (We used colorful, stemless wine glasses in my class.)

125 g. biscuit cookies, finely ground (I used Eti Finger Bisküvi) or graham cracker crumbs
75 g. brown sugar (Tip: I make my own brown sugar by mixing in a bit of üzüm pekmezi with white granulated sugar.)
pinch     ground cinnamon
75 g.         butter, melted

450 g.         cream cheese (krem peynir), at room temperature
10 ml.         (2 tsp.) lemon juice

475 ml.         heavy whipping cream (krema)
75 g.          granulated sugar
Splash vanilla extract (If you had a vanilla bean, you could also add that here too.)

Optional:         Top the cake with homemade fruit compote or canned pie filling before placing in fridge.

1.     In a small bowl, stir together the biscuit crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 10-inch springform pan or distribute into individual glasses. Chill until firm. Omit this step if you are placing in glasses. (Optional: you also can bake this crust for about 7-8 minutes for a crispier crust.)
2.     In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth.
3.     In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla very stiff, gradually adding the sugar. Then add to the cream cheese mixture and carefully mix together so as not to deflate the whipped heavy cream. You should get no lumps this way.
4.     Pour into the chilled crust, and top with fruit filling. Or add the cheesecake filling into the glasses and top with the cherry compote. Chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove the sides of the springform pan, so you can slice it.
(As you can see from Sheryl’s photos, we didn’t wait for the cheesecake to chill. We consumed immediately!)

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Sheryl Sparks said...

I had so much fun! Thank you -- I wish I still had some "Cheesecake Brownies!"

JeanaDe said...

Ok are making me hungry, I want the Cheesecake Brownie recipe!

Unknown said...

Sounds like fun, Joy! I really do hope to meet you one of these days - and I am sure that will happen!

Joy said...

Yes, Claudia, I'd love to meet up someday too. I'm around Istanbul most of the summer, with guests off and on.