The ultimate cheesecake with pinapple strawberry topping

On my way home from a long and hectic day, this is what I crave.

To curl up with a good book and a cup of tea and lose myself in it for a couple of hours.

When the Postaweek announced a photography challenge for the theme (home) at first I wanted to photograph my kids because to me they are my home but I didn’t want to submit their picture for a public challenge. So, I spent the next couple of days wondering what is it that I could capture with my lens that would be “home”..and then it dawned on me..

 Through out my life my books have been my “home”, my refuge, my secret garden.. They are good friends that offer counsel when I’m troubled, a smile when I’m sad and always good company when I need it.

I mainly love reading fiction, fantasy in particular. Wizards, dragons and places were one person with a dream can change the world enchant me.

 I might blog about my favorite books some day..  but today I wanted to ask you two questions…

If you were to capture “home” in a single picture, what would it be?

and do you read? if yes..what ?

The recipe today is Tyler Florence’s ultimate cheesecake but with a change in the topping and it deserves the ” ultimate” down to the last bite.

I loved the addition of cinnamon in the added a depth of flavor that was simply yummy.The filling melts in your mouth and the topping ..well that has a story..I wanted to make a strawberry topping but when I cooked it and spread it, I realized the amount wasnt enough so I decided to add another layer of topping..a quick visit to google and I decided on the pineapple topping and it turned out amazing.. the colours blended beautifully and so did the flavors..

The ultimate cheesecake with pinapple strawberry topping


2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter, melted


1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 pint sour cream (I replaced it with 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup butter)

1 lemon, zested

1 dash vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened.

 Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low-speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten.

Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan.

Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake.

 Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to over cook.

Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours.

Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate.Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut

Strawberry topping

White sugar – ⅓ cup

Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

Strawberries – 2 cups

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Cut the strawberries, combine with sugar vanilla and starch.

Cook on medium heat, stir occasionally till thickened

 Pineapple Topping  

1 can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
4 to 5 Tablespoons of sugar
2 to 3 drops yellow food color ( optional )

Place the pineapple with syrup, cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan..

Stir well and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick and glossy.

Remove from heat and stir in color. Spread over your cheese cake