An update since the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, late-2021
My cheesecake baking took a big hiatus in 2020—and continued through most of 2021. The last time I baked a cheesecake before this long break was probably in late December of 2019 or sometime in January of 2020. The reason for this stoppage was a breakout of a worldwide pandemic called COVID-19, or the coronavirus. This extremely infamous disease resulted in massive disruptions, including cancellations of numerous events at which I would normally serve my well-appreciated dessert. Even when such events resumed—or other events somehow continued on—there remained restrictions that still hindered my bringing these cheesecakes. And I was reluctant to make a whole cheesecake to be eaten by myself only (too many calories on my own!).

With the upcoming Rosh HaShanah lunch in early September of 2021 at my cousin Joanne's place marking my first time eating there since Thanksgiving of 2019, I finally baked my very first cheesecake in nearly 20 months—Chocolate, Prototype 24. How good it was to get back, at long last, into making my sweet specialty this side of COVID-19! This "Head of the Year" meal at her house would include my "Head of the (hopefully) Post-COVID Era" cheesecakes.

During this extensive down time, I made a decision to implement a small change, largely out of simplification, to my "cheese base". This would now consist of equal amounts of cottage, Neufchatel and yogurt cheeses (no other closely-related changes, such as adjusting the amount of xanthan gum—but for which I would end up having rubbery regrets here—would be made). Among other things, this resulted in using one whole 16-ounce container of cottage cheese, unlike the past, when I used one and a half containers of this for a single recipe—which meant putting a half-used container back in the refrigerator, for some other (hopefully near-future!) purpose. Under this latest modification, yogurt cheese would remain at 16 ounces, but Neufchatel would be doubled, from 8 to 16 ounces. The aforementioned chocolate prototype, rather than a plain one, would be the debut cheesecake for this new formulation.

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