Experiments in Weight - Cheesecake

I’m convinced that attention to detail is key when baking, so here’s a series on taking recipes online that sound good, converting the ingredients from volume to weight, and then baking them. This one is cheesecake, original recipe here.

Conversion from Volume to Weight

Ingredient Original Weight
graham cracker crumbs 1.5 cups 142 grams
butter 5 tbsps 71 grams
cookie dough    
butter 5 tbsps 71 grams
brown sugar 1/3 cup 73 grams
granulated sugar 3 tbsps 42.19 grams
salt 0.25 tsp 1.52 grams
vanilla extract 1 tsp 4.3 grams
flour 0.75 cups 93.75 grams
chocolate chips 1 cup 152 grams
cream cheese 10 oz 10 oz
sugar 0.25 cups 50 grams
egg 1 1
vanilla extract 1 tsp 4.3 grams


Primarily ended up using a KitchenAid, food processor, 2 kg American Weigh kitchen scale, some bowls for weighing (sized for volumes), and spoon for adding and removing weight on the scale.

The vanilla extract was replaced with maple syrup for the cheesecake filling. I did it by weight and not by volume, which might have been a mistake.

The bake-age

This recipe also was a great exercise in reusing equipment. The smallish kitchen in this apartment works fine, which means more cleaning dishes in between segments, but less dirty dishes in the end.

The crust consisted of melted butter and crushed graham cracker. The food processor did wonders here. I melted the butter in the microwave: 30% power, 15 second pulses with mixing between each pulse. This worked out okay, and required about 60 seconds of time. The crust came together nicely, which baked for about 6 minutes, then left to cool.

The cookie dough came next. This recipe was interesting because usually there’s egg or something aside from butter to keep the dough together. I suppose in this case it wasn’t required to be in cookie form, so it would be more crumbly instead. For the most part, this was just mixing all the ingredients together in the KitchenAid, the chocolate chips being last to add, and the flour being second to last. I needed to use the KitchenAid again, so the dough was transferred, then the mixer bowl was washed and reconnected to the base for the batter.

The filling was simple. I’ve never made cheesecake before, so I have no idea if filling is really just sugar, egg, and cream cheese. I beat the cream cheese and sugar first, then added the egg and maple syrup. I let this go for a bit longer than originally felt needed, primarily because the batter should look consistent, and I think the maple syrup made it slightly more difficult to do than expected (initially).

The finished product: stacks on stacks. Put the cheesecake filling on top first, and pat down the clumps. Then throw the cookie dough on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

30 minutes is a long time. I ended up cleaning up the mess while waiting for it to bake. I found a beer to keep me company. This Sierra Nevada Beer Camp thing ain’t bad.

End Result

Noms. The cookie dough definitely was clumpier than expected. If I made this again, I’d consider potentially melting down the butter a bit (recipe called for room temperature), or adding in a small amount of dairy (milk?). Secondly, I should recheck the oven temperature, because I think even at “325 degrees” for 30 minutes, it could have stayed in the oven for a bit longer. That said, the end result was phenomenal, particularly for the middle of a blizzard.