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RECIPE: Boston Cream Cheesecake

Got 35 minutes of prep time? Whip up this specialty cheesecake for National Cheesecake Day, July 30th. Boston Cream Cheesecake is a fusion of—you guessed it—Boston Cream Pie and cheesecake.

So we’ll start with some food trivia:

  • Boston Cream Pie is not a pie, but a layer cake with a pastry cream or custard filling.
  • Cheesecake is not a cake, but a cream cheese-flavored custard pie.
  •  
    The recipe is courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which published the first recipe for a cream cheese-based cheesecake in 1928.

    Cream cheese itself was invented by a farmer in New York state in 1872, but became mass marketed by the Philadelphia Brand in 1928. The package included the recipe for “New York Cheesecake,” which refers to an all-cream-cheese recipe. Prior to then, cheese cakes were made with cottage cheese and ricotta.

     

    Chocolate and cheesecake are a great combination, as any cheesecake lover knows. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Cream Cheese.. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

     

    RECIPE: BOSTON CREAM CHEESECAKE

    While prep time is 35 minutes, the total ready time, including baking and refrigeration, is 5 hours 20 minutes. Makes 16 servings.

    Ingredients

  • 1 package yellow cake mix or your own from-scratch recipe
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen Cool Whipwhipped topping
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  •  

    Have a slice! Photo courtesy Philadelphia
    Cream Cheese.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 325°F.

    2. PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Pour into 9-inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray*. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

    3. BEAT cream cheese sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over cake layer in pan.

    4. MICROWAVE COOL WHIP and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring after each minute. Cool 15 minutes; slowly pour over cheesecake, using a spatula as needed to distribute the glaze. Refrigerate 4 hours.

     

    *Note: If baking cheesecake in dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
     
    BOSTON CREAM PIE HISTORY

    So why is a yellow layer cake that is filled with pastry cream or custard and frosted with chocolate ganache called a pie?

    That answer is most likely that, in the mid-19th century pie tins were more common than cake pans. The distinction between calling something pie or cake was more flexible than it is today. The cake might well have been baked in pie tins.

    Chef M. Sanzian, hired for the opening of Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856, created the modern Boston Cream Pie, a sophisticated remake of an early American pudding-cake pie recipe. He sandwiched two layers of sponge cake with crème pâtissière, a vanilla-flavored custard. He topped the cake with a chocolate ganache glaze. Beginning in the 20th century, a custard filling often replaces the crème pâtissière.

    At the Parker House Hotel, the cake was originally served with the names Chocolate Cream Pie or Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie. In 1996, Boston Cream Pie was declared the official cake of Massachusetts. October 23rd is National Boston Cream Pie Day. In addition to the Boston Cream Cheesecake recipe above, you can find Boston Cream Dounuts at Dunkin’ Donuts and elsewhere.

      





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