Cooking with Vincent: Strawberry Glazed Cheesecake

First, a few words on what has been going on lately. Originally I planned for this post to be published two weeks ago, then I pushed it back, and I pushed it back again. I wanted take time to focus on learning and have conversations. In discussions with Patrick and friends, we came to a few conclusions. Fighting for equality is vital, and momentum should not die down. Therefore, activism will be further incorporated into the blog. However, something I’ve learned during the past few weeks is the importance of rest and continuing to be creative. We all need moments to step away and breathe, so I hope the blog can provide that for both you and me. Additionally, I want to try to incorporate activism in a way, even if it’s small, that is related to the content I’m providing. And you will see that here in this post.

As mentioned previously, I’m a total novice in the kitchen, and I thought if I could have someone who inspired me guide me a bit, it would help me become more comfortable in the kitchen, so I decided to turn to the legendary Vincent Price. In my first Cooking with Vincent post, I mentioned that Price had written more than one cookbook, and Patrick and I decided to purchase another one of his cookbooks, Come Into the Kitchen, even though A Treasury of Great Recipes is extremely thick!

The differences between Treasury of Great Recipes and Come into the Kitchen I suppose should be made clear, aside from their size. Treasury is filled with recipes that are either direct copies or adaptations of dishes from restaurants around the world, while Come into the Kitchen offers American dishes through the decades, but beginning with European settlers into the contemporary era, well contemporary for the book, which is the late 1960s, so the book attempts to cover roughly 400 years of cooking in America.

Myself, wearing a shirt featuring Vincent Price, holding his cookbook Come into the Kitchen.

Last month was Price’s birthday, and I thought it would be a great excuse to make a cake! Since it’s nearly summer, the strawberry-glazed cheesecake was calling my name.

Photograph of the recipe in the book.

This recipe called for one box of Zwieback, which honestly I had to look up! We couldn’t find it in stores during our last grocery outing, we later found out it is available online, or you can make it yourself! However we decided to go for a combination of Nilla wafers and Graham crackers.

Bowl of Nila Wafers and graham crackers.

Myself using a rolling pin to crush the Nila Wafers and graham crackers.

Crushed graham crackers and Nila wafers, and sugar.

Pressing the crust into the pan.

The recipe also called for creamed cottage cheese, which we couldn’t find it either! So we opted just for standard cream cheese. This recipe really took a toll on our 50s mixer. I honestly thought it was going to give out on us. We’ve been talking about getting a KitchenAid stand mixer and I think this was the last straw. Colonel Whiskers also took time to make his presence known and licked his chops at the creamy mixture.

Vanilla extract being mixed in.

Our fluffy grey cat, Colonel Whiskers, licks his lips.

Sugar being poured into the mix.

Cheesecake being poured into the cake pan.

Myself placing the cheesecake into the oven.

After baking for 50 minutes at 350, the cheesecake looked great! But the recipe said the cake should then sit in the oven with the oven off for 30 minutes. However after sitting for 30 minutes I came to find this!

The cheesecake baked, however it features a large T shaped crack.

Oops! Well, at least I still had the strawberry glaze, and maybe it could salvage the looks of the cake aesthetically speaking. Instructions for the glaze were to crush the strawberries through a strainer or blender, we chose to use our food processor.

A lemon, cut in half sitting on a cutting board.

Pouring sugar into a pot with strawberries.

Putting the strawberry glaze onto the cake.

Red strawberry glaze on white cheesecake, with sliced strawberries placed on top.

I also chose to make whipped cream and edge the cake with whipped cream for a more pure white edge to contrast with the vibrate red of the glaze.

Inspired by one of my favorite films of Price, Theatre of Blood, I decided to go with a dripping blood vibe with the glaze. Honestly, for having never made a cheesecake before I am quite impressed with how it turned out!

White cheesecake sits on a black cake stand. The Vincent Price film Theatre of Blood plays on the TV in the background.

Slice of cheesecake on a black plate.

As for the taste, initially I didn’t think it had too much flavor, but I think it just needed to sit for a while in the fridge, because it tasted way better the following day. Was it the best cheesecake I’ve ever had? No, but it is far from the worst!

We purchased this copy of Come Into the Kitchen new, because I wanted to read Victoria Price’s new forward for the book. Additionally, I feel like a new cookbook can be abused in the kitchen, and a vintage one can’t. Honestly, I baby my vintage copy of A Treasury of Great Recipes! But I think I’ll purchase a vintage copy of Come Into the Kitchen as a nice companion to Treasury.

And I’ll leave you with words regarding prejudice from Price himself.

Live near LA? Craving something sweet? Want to do something to help? Check out these Black owned bakeries in Los Angeles.

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