I was paging through the April/May edition of Taste of Home magazine and ran across this recipe for Very Vanilla Slow Cooker Cheesecake. Baking a good cheesecake can be a tricky business. I liked the idea of mixing it up, putting it in the cooker, and walking away for a couple of hours. I didn’t have to judge doneness or heat up the house baking it, just follow directions. It turned out beautifully as you can see.
Unfortunately, Taste of Home doesn’t let you access this recipe on their website without a subscription. (You might borrow a copy of the magazine from a friend or the public library, or simply subscribe! It’s a good magazine.)
Here is a link to a similar recipe, only you will need to substitute sour cream for the pumpkin and vanilla extract for the pie spice. The cooking instructions are different as well. I wrapped the bottom and sides of my spring form pan with three layers of foil and set it on a two-inch tall donut of foil set into a 6-quart slow cooker with one inch of water in the crock. I put three paper towels over the top of the crock and then put the lid on and pushed down for a good tight fit, so the steam would not escape from the cooker while the cake was cooking. You cook this cheesecake on (1) high for two hours, (2) turn off the cooker and allow it to sit one hour undisturbed, (3) remove the cake from the slow cooker and cool on a wire rack for one hour, and then (4) refrigerate for at least one hour before removing from the pan and serving.
It took me a while to unearth the correct size spring form pan from among my many baking pans. It was a little bigger than the 6-inch pan called for, but it worked just fine. I made sure neither it nor the foil I wrapped around it touched the sides of the cooker crock. I didn’t have any heavy-duty foil in the house, so I used more layers of regular foil to make up the difference–with excellent results.
I did make a few changes to the recipe. We are not huge vanilla fans, so I used 2 teaspoons of almond flavoring and only 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I used chocolate baking chips instead of a bar chocolate because I only had chocolate chips in the pantry. For the bottom crust, I used a roll of shortbread Girl Scout cookies that I had in the freezer, since I didn’t have any graham crackers on hand. (I’d like to try this recipe with Digestive Biscuits–they have a taste somewhere between graham crackers and Ritz crackers.)
I liked this recipe because it was easy to tweak! I could have used any flavor of extract or cookie crumb to tailor the cake to the taste of the diner. You could also use any flavor of topping. If you wanted to stay with chocolate you could use any flavor of chocolate. The next time I make this cake, I am going to top it with some of my homemade raspberry sauce. You also could use any flavor of fruit jelly, jam, preserve, or marmalade–or even fresh fruit.
The texture of this cheesecake is fluffy/creamy. I am not a huge cheesecake fan. (I don’t favor a heavy, New York-style cheesecake.) However, one piece of this cheesecake with a strong cup of coffee satisfied me completely. Begonia