Baked Plain Cheesecake—Prototype 19:
Okay, this is it. After my having conducted some thickness experiments with the leftover 3-cheese blend in Prototype 18, the time had come to move on to a new stabilizer for Prototype 19. Looking back at my stabilizer usage history for my cheesecakes, I've come a long way.

I began my cheesecake prototypes with "regular" flour—often known as "white" or "all-purpose" (or perhaps even "white wheat"—but NOT whole wheat). And this flour was probably bleached as well, at least in the earlier days, but hopefully not in later ones. Then I gave "white whole wheat" a try (perhaps "red" was the better known whole wheat, but I could not recall using any red whole wheat flour in any of my cheesecakes). Then I started using arrowroot, while still holding on to whatever "wheat" flour I was using. At some point I reverted to "all-purpose", and by around then, the flour was indeed more on the natural side—no bleaching! I still used the arrowroot alongside the all-purpose flour. Then I retired the wheat-type flour altogether and focused exclusively on arrowroot.

But now would begin a new era in my stabilizer usage for cheesecakes. Arrowroot would be replaced with xanthan gum, the same kind of stabilizer used in many grocery products, including cream cheese. This gum-type powder seemed to be at least six times (perhaps up to twelve times) more powerful than arrowroot. So I had to be careful, lest this latest prototype end up being too rubbery.
3-Cheese Blend (3CT-1NC-2YG):
Prepare ahead of time 16 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from one 32-ounce container of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 16 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 24 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese").

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") springform pan, but do not wrap foil around it yet (see below).

2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. All-Bran, ground up

Place the resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on the mixture's thickness (closer to 10 minutes if thin enough to be fully distributed across the pan's bottom by gentle shaking, closer to 5 minutes if thick enough to require spreading out this mixture by pressing on it with a utensil and/or fingers), then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
5 eggs

Wrap the pan in foil just before adding the batter (to minimize the foil's disturbance and therefore its leakage risk, do not put it on any earlier).

Next, pour the batter over the crust and bake this cheesecake in a hot water tub at 300 degrees for 120 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then cool the cheesecake down while still in oven (with this oven shut off) and in tub with door slightly ajar for an hour. Afterwards, remove from oven and tub and continue to cool down at room temperature for another 120 minutes, then remove from pan and refrigerate.

Plain Cheesecake—Prototype 19

So what was the outcome with this new stabilizer? Upon removing the cheesecake from the oven, I noticed a particular jiggle that I could not recall with the other stabilizers used in my earlier cheesecakes. And upon further handling of this prototype and noticing a bit more softness than I wished for, I reasoned that I should aim higher on the xanthan gum for next time (as for Prototype 19, I aimed for a relatively minimal amount).

But the taste was superb (or certainly at least in my own opinion)! It seemed to have that "commercial", "fattening" tinge to it, not the subtle inferior tinge(s) that I could best recall having typically picked up in my earlier flour/arrowroot-containing plain prototypes. (Hey, what can you expect with a stabilizer that has been a staple in commercial cream/Neufchatel cheeses?) This cheesecake, served in early August of 2017 among a modest selection of desserts and other snacks at Living Hope Church, was gone in what seemed to be less than ten minutes.

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