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About That Cheesecake ...

May 24, 2000

Making a cheesecake can be tricky. Some of you know this; you've asked us about the Oreo Cheesecake recipe we recently published ("The Brunch Bunch," May 17). Though the recipe is correct and turned out fine in our Test Kitchen, it may result in a slightly soft, undercooked cheesecake under some circumstances.

Baker Marcy Goldman, who provided the recipe, says cheesecakes can vary depending on the moisture content of the cream cheese you use. Also, make sure the cream cheese is completely softened before creaming it.

Here is the cheesecake recipe again, along with these suggestions from Goldman: Bake the cheesecake at 250 degrees rather than 225 degrees, or bake the cake at 225 degrees but longer than 50 minutes, until the top feels slightly jiggly in the center but definitely set when touched. The sides should rise more than the top, she says. Goldman welcomes baking questions at her e-mail address, editors@betterbaking.com.

Oreo Cheesecake

Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hours plus 8 hours chilling

COOKIE CRUST

1 1/4 cups Oreo cookie crumbs or chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

Cinnamon

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

* Combine cookie crumbs, brown sugar, dash cinnamon and butter. Pat evenly into 9- or 10-inch springform pan.

CAKE

2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup flour

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies or similar chocolate-vanilla sandwich cookies

* Cream cheese in electric mixer on lowest speed until smooth. Add sugar and flour. Add eggs and yolks and continue blending until smooth and liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and cream.

* Pour half batter into pan, spreading over crust, and sprinkle with chopped cookie pieces. Top with remaining batter, smoothing evenly. Place pan on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 225 degrees and bake until lightly browned, 50 minutes more.

ASSEMBLY

2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup whipping cream

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

12 Oreo cookie halves, for garnish

1 maraschino cherry, for garnish

* Combine sour cream, sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread on cake and bake at 350 degrees until topping is set, 8 minutes. Turn oven off. Open oven door and cool cake 1 hour in oven. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

* To make glaze, scald cream in small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edges. Stir in chocolate to melt and blend. After 1 minute, remove from heat and stir in remaining vanilla. When cool, spread or pour glaze onto chilled cake. Arrange 12 Oreo cookie halves around outer perimeter (to look like a clock dial) and place cherry in center.

12 to 16 servings. Each of 16 servings: 502 calories; 266 mg sodium; 187 mg cholesterol; 39 grams fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.27 gram fiber.

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