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Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake

Created by Eli himself in his restaurant’s kitchen, it’s the real deal - the original Chicago-style cheesecake. It’s easier than you think to make Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake at home: Make the shortbread cookie crust (our signature), mix the batter, bake, and chill.  For best results, be sure to follow each and every step (especially scraping down the sides of the bowl, and the slow cool-down in step 10) and you can enjoy Chicago’s favorite dessert in the comfort of your home.

 

Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake

Servings: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:PlainCheesecakeIngredients
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons)|168 grams cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup|70 grams confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups|260 grams all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake:
4 (8-ounce|225 gram) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup|232 grams granulated sugar
1/4 cup|40 grams cake flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large whole eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup|180 grams sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DirectionsPouringPowderedSugar
1. Make the shortbread crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

2. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on low speed until mixture is fully incorporated. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated and the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough to a 1/4-inchDockingDoughForCrust thickness. Use the pan as a template and trim the dough the fit the pan. Carefully lay the disc of dough inside the pan and press down, fitting evenly. Using a fork, prick the dough to ensure even baking. Place the pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

4. Make the cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming.

5. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cake flour, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add the contents of the medium mixing bPouringBatterIntoCrustowl to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.

6.. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add first the whole eggs and then the egg yolk to the bowl, one at a time. After add each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue beating on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.

7. Add the sour cream and the vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should be well blended, but not over beaten.

8. Heat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease and flour the springform pan and pour the batter into it. Place the springform pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the cake 180° to ensure even browning.

9. Bake for 15 minutes more, and again rotate the pan 180°. The cake should be starting to soufflé and should be light in color. Continue to bake for 10 minutes more, for a total of 40 minutes at 375°F.

10. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and leave the oven door slightly ajar. The cake should be golden brown and lightly souffléd on the sides. Leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes more. (This step and the two that follow allow the cake to cool to room temperature gently, preventing cracking.) Give the cake a gentle shake; it is done if the center of the cake jiggles and the surface of the cake is slightly firm. Turn the oven off and open the oven door wide. Leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

11. Loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan by sliding an offset spatula around the inside ring. Remove the springform pan from the cake and transfer to a plate. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

12. Transfer to the freezer for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.

13. Slice the cake with a thin, non-serrated knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each slice. Serve immediately with fresh fruit or store in the freezer well wrapped for up to 3 months.

 

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Celebrating Founder’s Week 2020

Eli-Schulman-with-Cheeseakes

Founder Eli Schulman

In 1980, Eli Schulman declared cheesecake would be the signature dessert for his legendary Chicago steakhouse, Eli’s The Place For Steak. His unconventional fast and hot baking method resulted in the creation of “Chicago style” cheesecake: a beautiful caramelization on the outside and a creamy consistency on the inside, baked on a shortbread cookie crust. What began in Eli’s restaurant’s kitchen has grown into one of the country’s largest cheesecake and dessert bakeries.  Still a family owned business, all Eli’s Cheesecakes are handmade at Eli’s Cheesecake World, located on Chicago’s Northwest side. Eli’s attributes its success to a strong commitment to quality, empowering its workforce and following Eli Schulman’s mantras “Charity will never bust you” and “Treat others as if you were the other.”

MatzoBallSoup

Matzo Ball Soup

Founder’s Week will pay homage to this great man and his eponymous dessert, by featuring Eli’s original four cheesecake varieties (Original Plain, Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Raisin and Hawaiian),  at Eli’s Bakery Cafe, retail store and online.  The cafe will also be serving up a different lunch special each day, based on Schulman’s most popular dishes from Eli’s Stage Delicatessen,  located at 50 E. Oak Street, from 1962-1968 and Eli’s The Place For Steak, located at 215 E. Chicago Avenue from 1966-2005. Selections will include matzo ball soup, the wedge sandwich, corned beef sandwich and Chicken Vesuvio.

 

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Barbra Streisand enjoying a corned beef sandwich at Eli’s Stage Deli

For kids, there will be an Eli’s illustration coloring contest all week long, grouped by age.  Winners will be notified on Monday, January 27th, and receive a 9″ cheesecake as their prize.  In honor of Schulman’s birthday, January 22nd, mail order will offer 22% off Original Plain and Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes all week, the Cafe will offer the four original varieties by the slice for $2.20 all week, 22% off all sizes of Original Plain and Chocolate Chip, all week, and on Wednesday, January 22nd, free slices of Original Plain and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake in the Cafe, all day.

 

Elana-Marc-Schulman

Marc Schulman with daughter Elana

Founder’s Day week will culminate on Saturday, January 25th, with a meet and greet with Chicago’s First Family of Cheesecake:  Eli’s son, Marc Schulman, President of Eli’s Cheesecake and his daughter, Eli’s granddaughter, Elana Schulman, who recently joined the family business after a career as a producer in New York and attending culinary school. The Cafe will be decorated with historical photos, including many of Eli’s giant celebratory cakes, such as the 2,000 lb. ones baked for both President Clinton’s and President Obama’s Inaugurations, the Hamilton the Musical closing cake, the Taste of Chicago Birthday Cake and Illinois Bicentennial Cake, to name a very few. Also, pose for a photo with Eli’s mascot, “Slice” from noon-3:00 PM. Enjoy the presentation, a dessert tasting and coffee, Free, 1:00-2:00 PM.

 

6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive, Chicago

773-205-3800

 

Seneca Park Earth Day clean-up

Today marked our annual Earth Day cleanup and firehouse breakfast at the Seneca Park/ Eli M Schulman playground

We want to thank the Chicago Fire Department Engine Co. 98 and the wonderful crew from Miguel Juarez Middle School for helping us make the park beautiful once again and ready for another spring/summer season. Eli’s Cheesecake Co. takes great pride in coming together with local community members in sprucing up the park every year on Earth Day.

 

Seneca Park/ Eli M. Schulman Playground is located right off Michigan ave at, 220 E Chicago Ave

 

This was the 10th year of the partnership with Miguel Juarez school and we were fortunate this year to have the principal of the school, Dr. Campos, join us this year.

Congrats on a successful 2018  cleanup!

earth day kids

seneca park 2018

Sometimes, a No-Bake Cheesecake Is the Best Cheesecake

Our VP of Research and Development, Chef Diana Moles, visited the Munchies kitchen to demonstrate how to prepare a quick and easy no-bake individual cheesecake.

If you’re craving cheesecake-for-one, a rich and creamy dessert, or you just don’t feel like turning on your oven…this recipe is for you. Check out the Munchies “Quickies” Cooking Series for step by step instructions. You’ll be enjoying a no-bake version of Chicago’s favorite dessert in no time!

 

How to: Bake an Eli’s Cheesecake

Our VP of Research and Development, Chef Diana Moles, demonstrates how to make the perfect Chicago-style cheesecake (richer and creamier than a New York style cheesecake, on a shortbread cookie crust) in the Munchies kitchen. Watch and learn!

Introducing our DIY Birthday Kits

DIYBirthday What’s more fun than decorating (and eating) your own birthday cheesecake? With our new Birthday Kit, you (or your recipient) can decorate an Original Plain Cheesecake with buttercream frosting and colorful sprinkles, light the candle, throw the confetti, and celebrate!

Great for your favorite DIYer, amateur cake decorator, or anyone who wants a fun and festive hands-on dessert for a birthday celebration. It’s a party in a box! A gift and an activity, all in one.

Kit includes everything you need to party: one 9″ undecorated Original Plain Cheesecake (serves 16), a gold foil cake board, buttercream frosting, a piping bag and pastry tip, colorful sprinkles, multicolored paper confetti (enough to decorate your table), a Happy Birthday candle, and a reusable Eli’s cake server.

Instructions included, or visit our Kits page for more decorating ideas.

To order, visit: http://shop.elicheesecake.com/product/diybday

DIY Eclipse Projector

The solar eclipse is Monday, August 21! Here’s how you can make a projector box from an Eli’s Cheesecake box. Learn how here!

IMPORTANT: This viewer is meant for informational purposes only. This viewer won’t allow you to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. Please use caution while using this viewer. You risk permanent eye damage if you look a the sun without proper eye protection. Do not allow children to use this viewer unsupervised.

You might not be able to see the sun during the Solar Eclipse, but hopefully you can still find Eli’s “Eclipse Blackout Cake” in our Chicago Bakery Cafe!

#ElisEclipseCakes

Image may contain: food

 

 

Job Shadow Day with CHSAS

Eli’s was proud to host 14 food science students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) once again for our annual Job Shadow Day!  The students learned about the history of Eli’s and many different aspects of our business. They visited each area of the bakery to learn how we scale, mix, bake, and decorate our products. To finish off their day, the students competed in a cheesecake decorating contest.

CHSAS is one of the only agricultural high schools in the country, located on a working farm. We enjoy a strong partnership with the school, providing job shadowing, mentor programs and internships. The Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship Program is a summer internship for CHSAS students working with Eli’s, Wright College and Farmer’s Market vendors in partnership with The University of Illinois Extension Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science.

 

CHSAS-Job-Shadow-Day-2017

Eli’s Cheesecake on NPR’s Morning Edition

Today,

Eli’s Cheesecake was featured on NPR‘s Morning Edition segment. For Eli’s Cheesecake President Marc Schulman, “people who come as refugees have great skills.” At Eli’s, there’ s a strong passion towards providing equal opportunity to all individuals including refugees. The refugee employees come from various countries such as Iraq, Bhutan, Kosovo, Congo, Myanmar. Featured on the segment was Elias Kasongo, who began working at the bakery in 1994 after fleeing unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His story reflects his perseverance and determination to succeed. He started with a job in the dish room at Eli’s and was eventually promoted to purchasing manager. He has been a part of Eli’s for 22 years and also serves on the board of RefugeeOne, a Chicago nonprofit that helps refugees start new lives.

 

Others highlighted are 46-year-old production leader,  Zamira Bejrektarevic who started as an office cleaner who worked her way to become production leader, and Ray Hermez, who works on the production line boxing finished cakes.

Eli’s Cheesecake takes pride in helping to provide opportunities to individuals and discovering Refugee talent.

Eli’s Hosts CHSAS Students and Faculty for Annual Job Shadow

The Job Shadow Activities for students at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) is scheduled each year to begin on Ground Hog Day, February 2nd, and continue through the Spring Term.

At Eli’s Cheesecake, we always schedule our Job Shadow visit by food science students for early May. This year, it was on Tuesday, May 10th. The students started the day with a continental breakfast, hosted by Eli’s President Marc Schulman. After, they enjoyed an introduction to Eli’s history and products by Eli’s VP of Marketing, Debbie Marchok, and a short program about our Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). After the educational presentations, the CHSAS students and their advisors toured Eli’s Bakery with our VP of Purchasing and Operations, Jeff Anderson, where they shadowed the different operational areas to learn how we scale, mix, bake, cut, decorate, evaluate and pack Eli’s Cheesecakes and desserts.

CHSAS_StudentsFaculty

Eli’s culinary team prepared a luncheon for the students under our Big Top, complete with Eli’s desserts. Before lunch, the students competed in a cheesecake decorating competition where they hand-decorated their own cakes with techniques they learned from our pros. The winner was chosen by Laurel Boger, Eli’s Executive Pastry Chef.
ScholarshipWinners

Congratulations to the Eli’s Cheesecake Scholars for 2016 graduating from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. From left to right: Jeff Anderson (Eli’s); Dr. Charles Guengerich (President Emeritus Wright College); Andrew William Peterson-Lipp; Samantha Brandtonies; Samantha Griffin; Keyana Tyiska; Jolene Worthington (Eli’s); and Marc Schulman (Eli’s).

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is a proud corporate sponsor of CHSAS and appreciates the time and commitment by the CHSAS staff, faculty and students.