Monday, February 13, 2012

How to convert a recipe to Honey: Cheesecake Edition

Valentines day.
Love it or hate it, it's here.
Luckily my Partner and I agree that we don't need to do anything fancy. We're making a cheesecake to share... and that's all we're doing... that and probably finishing watching Fruits Basket on netflix.

Now... some of you may know that I am a total perfectionist... and I absolutely love cheesecake.
I have very specific ideas about what a good cheesecake is and isn't.
It is: tall, creamy, rich, and dense, with a non-soggy crust. It is baked, and it is never, NEVER grainy. It is not so sweet that you can't taste the cream cheese.

For the crust bit, I plan on using my graham cracker recipe, pulverized with some butter, I think it'll make a fine crust.
Now... I need to tackle the cheesecake itself.
I am a bit worried. Any liquid in a cheesecake recipe is high in fat, which helps with the creamyness of the final product, so replacement needs to be done very carefully. Using too much honey will probably result in a cheesecake that separates into grainy curds in baking... which would be a tragedy. If I use too little honey, the final product will be too tart and that would also be very sad. This is supposed to be a dessert!

So... I am starting with my favorite cheesecake recipe, the one I used when I worked in a nice restaurant (sigh, those were the days).

Lemon Cheesecake
1 lb cream cheese
5.5 oz sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tiny pinch salt
2 oz eggs
1 oz egg yolks
2 oz heavy cream
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

Converting this recipe is a little harder because it is measured in ounces instead of the volume measurements most home recipes are written in. This is because measuring by weight is much more accurate for a professional environment... but all is not lost. The house I am renting did come equipped with a cheapy kitchen ounce scale, so I can use it to measure some stuff.

Honey is sweeter than sugar, so I will probably go with 2.75 ounces of honey to replace the 5.5 of sugar... I will of course taste it to make sure before I add the raw eggs.
Now, the honey has to displace some of the liquid in the recipe. Since I don't want to remove anything creamy from the recipe, I will replace the egg whites... so I will use 2 oz egg yolks and no whole eggs. This gives me about one ounce... I can probably get away with taking another ounce from the cream, and the remaining .75 of an ounce... I will risk letting alone. That gives me...

Honey Lemon Cheesecake
1 lb cream cheese
2.75 oz mild tasting honey
1 Tbsp cornstarch
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tiny pinch salt
2 oz egg yolks
1 oz heavy cream
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon.

Preheat the oven to 350*
Cream the cream cheese until smooth. Add the honey and cream until smooth. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt and cream until smooth. Scrape down the bowl to make sure the mixture is homogenous. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl again. Stir in the cream and lemon juice.
Pour over a prebaked graham cracker crust and return to the oven. After 10 minutes turn the temperature down to 275* and bake for several hours, turning occasionally and checking for doneness.
Cool completely before removing from pans. 

I will update this post with pictures when I have actually made the cheesecake.  


  1. Mmmm. I love cheesecake. I considered a cheesecake to celebrate Valentines Day at our house too, but opted out. We're doing a tres leches cake instead this time. Good luck! Can't wait to hear how the honey replacement turns out!

  2. I know this is over 2 years later, but how did the honey lemon cheesecake turn out?


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