Two. The number of things that broke in my apartment yesterday.
Actually. Three. If you count my heart.
Negative sixty-seven. How functional my oven is right now on a scale of 1 to10.
Negative sixty-seven. How functional my hypothalamus is right now on a scale of 1 to 10.
Twenty-four. The number of coverslips of cells I had to electroporate yesterday. Even in the wake of my broken oven and the fever, aches, pains, and chills that ensued from the discovery of my broken oven.
Two. The number of Advils I took to deal with the fever, aches, pains, and chills that ensued immediately after the discovery my broken oven. Oh hypothalamus. Why do you hate me so?
Thirty-eight. The number maintenance requests that I have submitted so far. At least one for every hour of the day that I’ve had to live without an oven. Sometimes more. Depending on whether my fever was high enough that I forgot I had already submitted a maintenance request that hour.
Five. The number of times I tried to convince my parents that, no. My fever was not due to “bad air”. But to a psychological and emotional connection I had with my oven. Such that when it broke. My hypothalamus thought, Hey! Wait for me! I want to go straight to hell too!
Ten. The number of dreams I had last night that revolved around this white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake. That I baked last month for Adam’s birthday.
Those were the days.
One. The number of ice cream makers that I put in my freezer. Because the only way I know how to deal with stress like this is to bake. And those who can’t bake. Make ice cream. Stay tuned.
When I tell you that this is the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. That when I say I’m upset about my oven for a variety of different reasons, what I really mean is that I’m upset really and truly because it means that I can’t bake this cheesecake again in the near future. You are going to have to trust that I’m not just hyperbolizing. Or exaggerating the past. And then you are going to have to get in the kitchen. Turn on your oven (oh how I envy you!). And start baking.
You can do that for a poor, hypothalamus- and heart-broken girl living on the upper east side without a working oven. Can’t you?
White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
Serves 16, adapted from Dinner and Dessert
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (I used these adorable graham cracker cookies from Whole Foods. They were shaped like rabbits.)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/4 cup water
32 oz 1/3 Less Fat Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz white chocolate chunks
1. Preheat oven to 475. Create a water bath by placing a large pan filled with about a half a cup of water into the oven while it preheats. Before you do this, though, make sure your springform pan fits into the water bath pan. Otherwise you’ll be in for a fun surprise in a few steps.
2. Combine the raspberry preserves with a 1/4 cup water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds, then let cool.
3. Measure 1 1/2 cups of chocolate cookie crumbs into a bowl. Pour the melted butter into this bowl and mix. Press the crumbs into a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.
4. Use an electric mixer to combine the sugar with the cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend until just incorporated.
5. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle the white chocolate chunks on top of it. Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust. Pour dollops of the raspberry preserves around the crust in a circle. Drag a toothpick through them in order to get the swirl shown above.
6. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath. Bake for 12 minutes. Then, lower the oven to 350 and bake for 60-90 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color.
7. Remove from the oven to cool. When cool, put in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight.
Be sure to send me your entries to Regional Recipes: Ethiopia by July 31st!