Baked Vanilla Cheesecake—Prototype 1:
Vanilla often seems to be portrayed as "plain" or "neutral". Perhaps this is due to its being very mild. In fact, this vanilla cheesecake debut is very similar to my latest plain cheesecakes, but with the vanilla extract obviously being increased—in hopes of a more "cream-like" taste. Other differences include the lower-tart cheese blend to match the mild vanilla and—likely for the first time in my baked cheesecakes—the omission of salt from the batter.

Sometime in the past, my attention was drawn to the sodium content of my cheesecakes. If I remember well enough, this occurred more than two years ago, during the winter of 2011, likely with my cousin Robin bringing up this issue. Anyway, I ended up questioning the addition of salt in my cheesecake recipes. This usage stemmed from the initial recipe out of
The American Heart Association Cookbook that I started my cheesecake prototypes with, back in the 1980's. I assumed that the salt in that recipe was there for good reason.

But several years later, I felt that perhaps I could get away with cutting back on the salt, e.g., cutting it in half, without adversely affecting the taste. So I made this move, beginning likely with Prototype 10 of my eggnog cheesecake.

Since then, I have looked at many cheesecake recipes on the Internet. In my reviewing these for added salt, it was omitted from an overwhelming majority. So I more recently felt that it was time to do away with whatever salt I was still adding to the batters in my cheesecake recipes.

I do not know why the salt was included in that American Heart Association recipe in the first place. But then again, I found that recipe to be overwhelmingly lemony as well. My cheesecake prototypes have come a long, refined way since then—over 100 baked at this point!
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
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 8 ounces (1 cup) of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

1 oz. melted, white chocolate
4 oz. (1/2 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. Bran Buds, ground up

Pour this crust mixture into pan (9 to 9 1/2 inches) and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

2 tablespoons melted or softened butter
5/8 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

Pour on top of crust. Then bake in tub at 300 degrees for 60 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan), cool (outside of oven and tub) for an hour, remove from pan and refrigerate.

Vanilla Cheesecake—Prototype 1

This was only a "single-sized" cheesecake, and it was gone (among a modest snack selection) in less than 15 minutes at Living Hope Church.

But I felt that this prototype was not sweet enough (especially the crust, whose taste here, if I ate it alone, put thoughts of—unfortunately—cardboard in my head). I also felt that this cheesecake could use a little more vanilla. Furthermore, I got a bit doubtful about my choice of the 2-to-1 yogurt-cottage blend (as opposed to all-yogurt) for the batter, at least if I tasted that alone, although I afterward somehow picked up a slight "tang" if I ate both the batter and crust together. Perhaps
chocolate batter was a good fit for the 2-to-1 cheese (see Baked Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 15 for more information on this). But maybe I needed to go all-yogurt for some "mellow" flavors like vanilla, not just plain or citrus ones.

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