[Sca-cooks] s'mores?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Thu Aug 31 04:04:54 PDT 2006

On Aug 31, 2006, at 6:32 AM, Huette von Ahrens wrote:

> Adamantius,
> You forgot to mention that graham crackers are frequently crushed  
> and turned into
> a crust for cheese cake.

True. Graham Cracker crumbs are frequently used as described, usually  
mixed with butter and sugar, patted into a pan as a liner, and very  
briefly baked just long enough to set the sugar and produce a more or  
less cohesive layer.

>   As I am not found of graham crackers, I hate this crust.

I've never been a fan, either. For cheese cakes I'd use a short crust  
or a sweetened tart dough as the more traditional liner (and  
sometimes I don't even bother with a liner at all, and just use a  
circle of parchment paper). In European baking you sometimes see  
genoise cake crumbs used in this way, although not quite as  
aggressively as here in the US. I suspect that in Europe it's about  
using up stale cake, whereas here it could be equal parts frugality,  
laziness, and a desire to not have the oven lit any more than  
necessary (there are cheesecakes and various other custardy-type  
entities served in Graham Cracker crusts that aren't baked after  
final assembly).

I was shocked to find recently that the cheesecake at Junior's, a  
diner/bakery of Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, alleged by some to be the  
finest commercially produced cheesecake (of this particular style) in  
New York, and therefore on the planet (I have always been a proponent  
of the Lindy's style for this honor) is now made with a thin disk of  
yellow sponge cake as its base.

> When I make cheesecake, I usually make a nut crust.  Depending on  
> what I have on
> hand, either pecans, walnuts, filberts or macadamias.  I haven't  
> done almond or pistachio
> yet, but they are next on my list to try.

I suspect the almonds would be great. On a tangential note, I just  
found a recipe for, and prepared, an Italian-type almond macaroon in  
a sugar-free version that was really quite outstanding, and quite  
simple, too (apart from some slightly obscure artificial sweeteners  
which one might easily have on hand if one is committed to the sugar- 
free thing). I mean, these weren't something you'd qualify by saying  
they were quite good considering they were sugarless. They were just  
plain good. I was pretty shocked.


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