Baked Strawberry Cheesecake—Prototype 6:
Several months after I had given up looking for natural strawberry flavoring or a natural strawberry drink mix, a nicely updated product happen to somehow come my way. Nestlé has made a change for the better on its strawberry Nesquik—a reasonably natural (at least natural enough by my standards—no ingredients that I could find that a strict grocer like Whole Foods would deem "unacceptable") strawberry powder product was within my easy reach at last!

Strawberry Nesquik (click here for bigger, more detailed photo)

I felt grateful. Thanks, guys!
3-Cheese Blend (1CT-1NC-4YG):
Prepare ahead of time 32 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers (that's 64 ounces altogether) of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 8 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese").

2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons 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 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Nestlé Strawberry Nesquik drink mix (the same amount of mix that would be needed as if to make 1 quart of the drink itself)
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (5 tablespoons altogether) arrowroot
5 eggs

Wrap the pan in foil at this point. Carefully pour the batter over the crust and bake this cheesecake in a hot water tub at 300 degrees for 105 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then shut off oven and cool cheesecake down while still in it (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 105 minutes, then remove from pan and refrigerate.

Strawberry Cheesecake—Prototype 6

As expected, the batter turned out to be nicely firm. And this cheesecake fared alright at Living Hope Church.

But where was the strawberry? I could hardly taste it! How did I decide to use 1/2 cup of strawberry Nesquik in the first place?

I made that determination based on the amount of drink mix that would have been needed to make 1 quart of the drink itself. So how did I come up with this 1-quart rule? It was derived from Prototype 7 of my cherry cheesecakes. The amount of cherry Kool-Aid mix that I used there (7/16 cup in that case) was what would have been needed for a quart of the prepared Kool-Aid, and I used this same amount of that mix for what turned out to be a successfully-tasting cherry cheesecake.

Could it be that, for beverage purposes, proportionally less Nesquik was needed, relative to Kool-Aid, perhaps because of milk—which Nesquik was meant for—being a substantially better flavor carrier than water—which Kool-Aid was meant for? In that case, perhaps less than 7/16 cup of Kool-Aid would be needed if this water-enhancing mix were to be combined with milk rather than water—and more than 1/2 cup of Nesquik would be needed if this milk-enhancing mix were to be combined with water rather than milk.

Anyway, more Nesquik would be needed in the next strawberry prototype. But how much??

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