How to Bake a Cheesecake without a Water Bath?

One of the most popular American desserts is cheesecake, which has over 100 recipes and is also made and served in several countries. The history of cheesecakes appears to date back to as early as 776 BC. This delectable sweet treat is often served at a variety of occasions and holiday celebrations, such as formal or informal gatherings and by many top restaurants. Two types of cheesecakes are usually prepared – the baked or no-bake kinds. Cheesecakes are often made with different flavors, with strawberry and chocolate mousse being two of the most widely prepared types.

This easy to make dessert may be baked or unbaked and the baking of cheesecake may be done with or without using a water bath. However, one of the difficulties often experienced when baking cheesecake in a water bath is the leaking of water into the cake, which can turn out to be a disaster. However, you may just bake the cheesecake in the oven without having to worry about any leakages. Knowing and understanding how to bake cheesecakes without using water baths is useful in making the perfect, tasty dessert.

Basic Ingredients

The main ingredients for baking a cheesecake, which is a type of custard, include cream cheese and other types of cheeses, sugar, eggs and a crust made of sugar cookies, graham crackers orOreo cookies, brownies, nuts, ginger snaps or cake mix and fresh or sour cream.

Purpose of a Water Bath When Baking Cheesecake

The main purpose of using a water bath when baking cheesecakes is to regulate the temperature. This allows for an even distribution of the temperature throughout the baking process, which may cut the possibility of cracks on the top and sinking of the cake. However, only cakes that contain starches such as flour, cornstarch or potato starch will need to be baked at a very low temperature or in a water bath.

How to Bake a Cheesecake without a Water Bath

To bake a cheesecake without a water bath, you should use the following steps:

  • Take out and measure your ingredients and leave them at room temperature.
  • If your cheesecake requires that you use flour or other types of starches, you may bake it at a low temperature without needing a water bath. This will give the cheesecake a smoother, creamier, firmer and a denser and drier texture.
  • Set oven temperature low to about 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit to allow for a slow baking.
  • Prepare baking pans by greasing the bottom and sides generously. Recommended types of baking pan may include spring form or silicone pan or ramekins.
  • Measure ingredients and beat batter of sugar, cheese and eggs just enough so that lumps are mixed out properly and to avoid over-beating.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and place pan in the middle of the center oven rack.
  • Bake cheesecake until the middle of the cake is slightly wobbly.
  • Remove the cake from the oven to decrease the risk of over-baking. Remember that baking times may vary depending on the type of oven.
  • Place cooled cheesecake in freezer for about an hour and then cover with cling and heavy-duty foil wraps.
  • Leave cheesecake in freezer until ready for use. Do not freeze over 30 days to keep up freshness and quality.
  • Serve cheesecake chilled and enjoy!

How to Prevent Surface Cracks

Extreme high or cold temperatures may lead to cracks on the top of your cheesecake. However, by using flour or cornstarch in your cheesecake batter, you may reduce this risk as well as be able to skip using the water bath procedure to bake the cake. Other factors such as over-beating the batter or over baking the cake may also lead to cracks. If cracks appear on your cheesecake, you may use whipped cream and other types of decorations to hide them.

Being able to make a creamy and delicious tasting cheesecake may be easier if you know the keys to baking this rich dessert without using a water bath. Since you may bake a tasty and properly cooked cheesecake without using a water bath, you may now bake your dessert without having to fear that water may leak into the cake.

How to Bake Food for a Baby?

When you think of foods that are baked, you usually think of roast beef, roast chicken, baked fish and roasted vegetables and casseroles, right? Or, you might envision baked breads, and cakes, pies and cookies for desert. We know that baked meats are usually more healthy than fried, and baked vegetables and fruits like baked apples are full of flavor. Have you ever considered baking foods for your baby? Yes, you can bake healthy and flavorful meals for your baby.

Be Creative With Your Baby’s Food

When it comes to preparing baked foods for your baby, be creative! Sliced sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant, apples, pears, and many other foods can be baked and fed to your baby. Unlike store bought baby foods, you can add a touch of your own creativity and make the foods more palatable for your baby. For instance, you can mix a little apple juice with mashed sweet potatoes to give them a little extra flavor. You can add just a touch of salt to some of the baked vegetables. Remember, just a touch goes a long way when it comes to baby! If the baby is a year old or more, you can add a touch of honey or cinnamon to some of these foods. Never give honey or cinnamon to a baby that is younger than a year old because these foods are not compatible with a younger baby’s digestive system. Honey can in fact even be deadly if given to a younger baby. You can still be creative with your younger baby’s baked foods, though. Just try mixing different vegetables with different fruits.

Baked Baby Food Recipes

Fruits are especially easy to bake into delicious tasting recipe that will be pleasing to your baby. Almost any fruit can be mixed with another to give almost endless variety to your baby’s menu. In addition to being added to baked or cooked vegetables, baked fruits can be added to your baby’s cereals, or diced into bite-sized finger foods for older babies. There is even an easy rice pudding with fruit recipe that is very easy to make and compatible with baby’s tastes.

Do you want to add a little protein in your baby’s diet? How about a perfect baked egg recipe for your older baby? It is pretty to look at, as well as good to eat. If you cut it up and place it on your baby’s feeding tray, just let him or her go for it and have a good time!

Baked Fluffy Eggs Recipe for Baby

1 slice whole wheat bread
1 egg, separated (be careful not to break the yolk)
a little unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Toast the slice of wheat bread and spread it with a small amount of butter.

Place the egg white in a medium bowl and whisk it until it forms stiff peaks and you can turn the bowl upside down without the mixture sliding out. You can also use an electric mixer if you want the peaks to form faster.

Spoon the egg white onto your slice of toast and arrange in a circle, leaving a hole in the middle.

Carefully drop the yolk into the hole.

Place in the oven and bake for around 10 minutes, until the yolk is firmly set.

Let cool to a safe temperature and serve.

Homemade Baked Baby Foods vs Store Bought

If you compare the store bought baby food to the food you can bake at home for your baby, there would be no comparison! Store bought baby foods are very bland, for one thing. No wonder so many parents have to keep wiping spit-out goo off their faces while feeding their babies! The food is also often overcooked, resulting in some of the most important nutrients being destroyed! When you bake your own baby’s food at home, you have the choice to make it as nutritious and tasty as you wish. This delicious baked banana and pear dish is a perfect example of that. Mom says it is so good, she has to keep everyone else from eating it up!

Related Video:

How to Bake Asparagus in the Oven?

Asparagus has been growing in popularity in recent times. It is a welcome shift from the standard vegetables in the U.S. diet, which seems to thrive on broccoli, green beans, sweet peas, carrots and corn. Different varieties of asparagus give eaters some color choices: green, white, purple and wild.

Baking asparagus is one the fastest and easiest tasks to tackle in a kitchen. Prep time and cooking should take no more than 20 to 30 minutes.

To Prepare Asparagus:

There are many variations for baking asparagus. The most successful ones take into account the palates and food tolerances of the people who will be eating it. Here’s a basic preparation method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Trim the ends and wash the asparagus in warm water.
  • Place the pile of asparagus onto baking or parchment paper.
  • Place two or three pats of butter on top of the asparagus. If watching cholesterol, use olive or coconut oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze a lemon over the pile
  • Wrap the parchment paper around the pile and then wrap it a second time in aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped asparagus in the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes. The thicker the stalk, the longer the stems will need to cook. Be careful, though, not to overcook. The stems should be tender and crisp, not soggy.

Other Flavor Alternatives

It will take some experimenting to find the right flavor if the butter and lemon are a little too plain. Some cooks like to pour white wine over the asparagus just before wrapping it so that it retains moisture while cooking. Other flavor choices include: balsamic vinegar, before and after cooking; toasted sesame seeds; toasted almond slices, shredded or flaked cheeses like Parmesan; and garlic. Meats can also play a good flavor role. Prosciutto and cured bacon wrapped around individual stems give a smoked or cured flavor. Most of the time, the prosciutto will come out of the oven slightly crunchy.

Asparagus Nutrition

Although asparagus is available year-round, spring is the best time to get it fresh. If the conditions are right, asparagus spears can grow about 10 inches in a 24-hour period. When asparagus spears are planted, it takes about three years before the first harvest. Then, the plant will keep producing for 15 years before it is time to replant new seeds. Most of the asparagus produced in the United States grows in Michigan.

It is one of the healthiest vegetables healthy eaters can place in their diets because it is full of nutrients. There is potassium, fiber, thiamin and vitamins A, B6 and C. Those with iron deficiencies or fighting liver disease will find the folic acid especially beneficial. It is the vegetable with the highest supply of folic acid. Asparagus is also good for what it does not have: no cholesterol, no fat and little sodium.

Fresh asparagus should be covered up with a waterproof wrapping and kept cold. It is best to trim the stems first about 1/4 of an inch and the wash the asparagus in warm water before patting them dry. Maintaining freshness works much like keeping fresh-cut flowers. Standing the asparagus up in two inches of cold water while refrigerating or enclosing the cut ends with a damp paper towel beneath the waterproof wrapping will help it stay crisp and prevent it from going limp. Asparagus can last up to three days this way.

For freezing, asparagus will have to blanched and then shocked by putting it in ice water. The best way to preserve freshness and flavor is to use a vacuum sealing system or try to get as much air out of the plastic storage bag as possible.

Why Asparagus Changes the Smell of Urine

Most people who love asparagus notice that their urine has a specific smell after they eat it. Some vegetable enthusiasts believe a compound in the vegetable called methylmercaptan, which contains sulfur, is the culprit. Others believe that an amino acid called asparagine is the cause. The smell does not mean that anything is wrong, however. It just means that the amino acids in asparagus are being properly broken down and transformed into nutrients.

For a demonstration on how to bake asparagus see the video below:

How to Bake Bacon without Foil?

Do you love bacon but hate the mess that goes along with baking it? Today, the traditional way to bake bacon in the oven is to line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. But foil is not a necessary material to get that crispy, delicious, oven-baked bacon ready for your early morning breakfast and coffee pairing.

Instead of wasting your aluminum foil (save it for those baked potatoes) get a crispier tray of bacon by using parchment paper. You also will get less mess, as the bacon grease will slide more easily off the parchment paper so that you can save it for cooking endeavors later in the day or week. Read on to learn more about how you can get a crispier and more delicious tray of bacon for your morning breakfast table.

Ingredients

The ingredients you need are quite simple. Gather 12-ounces of pre-sliced sliced bacon, a roll of parchment paper, a baking sheet, a cooling rack, a spatula, a clean jar, and paper towels.

Prepping the Kitchen

Set your oven to 350 degrees and allow it to warm up while you prep your baking sheet. To get started, place a clean baking sheet on your kitchen counter. Tear off enough parchment paper to line the baking sheet.

Another tip to help with removing the grease from the parchment paper after the bacon is done baking is to tear off parchment paper that is a little longer than the baking sheet. Then, fold in the right and left corners of one side, much like you would when you are folding the nose of a paper airplane. Open the folds. Follow the steps below as usual, but once the bacon is done, the creased paper will help direct the flow of the grease as you pour it into a jar.

Placing the Bacon

Pull the bacon strips out of the package and gently place them in even rows across the length of the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Wash your hands. Do not forget this step because you are handling raw meat and you do not want to cross-contaminate any surface.

Place the tray in the oven and bake the bacon for about 25 minutes. You will know the bacon is ready when it turns brown.

While the bacon is baking, line a cooling rack with paper towels. You will place the bacon on these paper towels as soon as they come out of the oven.

Taking the Bacon Out of the Oven

Immediately transfer the bacon from the baking sheet to the paper towels, so that the paper towels can absorb excess bacon grease. Pick up the parchment paper on both sides and direct the leftover bacon grease into a jar. The grease should roll off the parchment paper easily.

Sweet Parings

Bacon goes best with eggs at breakfast, brunch, or dinner. But if you are feeling a little creative, then use bacon as a garnish atop pancakes. Drizzle maple syrup on top and then dig in to this sweet and salty breakfast feast. The crispy, salty texture and taste of the bacon pairs perfectly with the contrasting sweetness of pancake syrup. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Stop wasting your aluminum foil on bacon! Save it for the foods that really need it. There are better alternatives, and parchment paper proves the point. The next time you are ready to bake bacon to a delicious crispiness, try lining your baking sheets with parchment paper. The beauty of parchment paper is that it is economical and nothing sticks to it. Grease rolls off it easily, allowing you to collect it and save as much of it as possible for later cooking projects.

With a little patience and by using a little resourcefulness, you will not only get crispier bacon, but you will get easy cleanup every time! Parchment paper takes the mess out of baking bacon! Once you try parchment paper, you will never go back to baking bacon — or any other greasy food — with aluminum foil. Is it time to start breakfast? Crispier, more golden brown bacon strips are calling your name!

Video

How to Bake a Fruit Cake?

Fruit cake is a Christmas tradition. The combination of dried fruits and nuts makes the cake hearty and delicious, while the addition of alcohol gives the cake a subtle kick and lots of moisture.

Classic Fruit Cake

Coat a spring pan with either nonstick vegetable spray or butter and line it with parchment paper that ends about two inches over the sides of the pan. Set the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of unsalted butter with ½ cups each of brown and white sugar until the mixture if fluffy and light. Add 3 large eggs one by one and beat well. You may need to scrape down the bowl’s sides.

Next, add 3 tablespoons of brandy and the zested skin of one lemon and one orange. Fold ¾ cups of ground almonds, 1 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts and 2 ¼ pounds of dried and candied fruits to the batter. Include a variety of fruits, including dried figs, apricots, prunes, currants, cranberries, raisins and cherries.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 cups of flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Fold this mixture into the cake batter.

Pour the batter into the spring form pan and decorate the top with blanched almonds. Set the spring form pan on a baking sheet and bake for one hour. Lower the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees, then continue baking for another hour and a half. A wooden skewer should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

Remove the cake and let it cool on a wire rack. Poke small holes in the surface using a wooden skewer, then brush the cake with brandy. Wrap the cake in foil, then keep brushing it twice a week with brandy until it is ready to be served. The cake can be frozen or will last for several weeks at room temperature.

Panforte Fruit Cake 

This Italian fruit cake has a flavor and texture that is very different from a traditional fruit cake. The chewier cake also contains a honey syrup and rich chocolate, making it taste more like candy than a classic fruit cake.

Coat a tart pan with parchment paper and butter. Next, melt 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Set the chocolate aside, then mix 1 cup of chopped hazelnuts in a large bowl with 1 cup of candied citrus fruits, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of allspice, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and ½ cup of flour.

In another saucepan, stir 2/3 cups of granulated sugar with 2/3 cups of honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and boil the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees.

Remove the syrup from heat and stir it into the chopped fruits and nuts. Pour the chocolate over the mixture, then quickly transfer it to the pan before it stiffens. Spread the mixture evenly throughout the pan using a wooden spoon.

Bake the Panforte fruit cake for 35 minutes at 300 degrees. The surface should be finely blistered. Remove the Panforte and place it on a wire rack. While it is warm, take the Panforte out of the pan and dust the top with powdered sugar. When the cake is cool, wrap it in foil and store it in a dry, cool place for up to several months.

Christmas Fruit Cake

In this video, master baker Betty, of Betty’s Kitchen, shows you how to make a traditional fruit cake that is perfect for Christmas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IofPRTuKWqs.

YouTube: Betty’s Christmas Fruitcake (Betty’s Kitchen):