By Greg Mattie
To ring in the 2014 New Year, I get to do something a little different. Instead of profiling a local Beaverton eatery, I am focusing on a local start-up business that specializes in delicious, made-to-order cheesecakes. Otherworldly Cheesecakes, operated by Amanda Alsterberg, morphed from a hobby of cheesecakes she liked making for her friends and family.
In addition to showcasing restaurants within our Beaverton community, there are those who tend to garner less attention, whether it is through lack of funding, inexperience or because they are new to the scene. These people still provide an important role in the local community and I personally felt that, Otherworldly Cheesecakes, in this case, needed to be exposed to a larger number of clientele than what Amanda is used to.
Otherworldly Cheesecakes has over 20 affordable recipes ($15-20 per whole cheesecake) that Amanda has cultivated to give the consumer many options, from classic flavors (vanilla bean, strawberry, key lime, etc.) to holiday favorites (pumpkin, cranberry-vanilla, eggnog, etc.) to custom options (bacon-maple, chocolate stout, pineapple-coconut, etc.). She can even alter the style of crust for each cheesecake, ranging from the traditional graham cracker crust, to vanilla wafer to even a pretzel crust. I had the opportunity to thy these three cheesecakes:
One thing you will find out about Amanda’s selections, they look more like pies than cheesecakes. However, she captures the smooth and creamy textures of a traditional cheesecake. She also allows the complementary flavors to not overwhelm the overall dish. In this case, the cranberry topping is just the right amount of tartness but still allows the vanilla within the pie to meld. The graham cracker crust is a bit more buttery than traditional crust but its savory notes are not overpowering.
Sometimes, a chocolate cheesecake can be too chocolaty, thus making it too heavy and rich. The battle to balance the level of chocolate and cheesecake flavors can be a problem. With Amanda’s offering, she tones down the intensity of the chocolate within the dish and adds it with the dark chocolate drizzle atop the pie. The end result is another smooth tasting dessert with a surprisingly light texture.
This is a fun, whimsical way to incorporate bacon into a dessert and have it not seem weird. Amanda ‘candies’ the bacon by baking the strips with some brown sugar and then convert them to tasty little bacon bits that serve as the topping for the cheesecake. The end result is a richer cheesecake but quite flavorful. The maple is incorporated into the mixture but, again, the sweetness is not overdone since Amanda skillfully balances the maple-to-sugar ratio.
I am really proud of this start-up business. Amanda has worked very hard to make this dream business a reality. Her cheesecakes are unique, fun, delicious and skillfully prepared. Please continue to support local businesses by supporting people like Amanda and her cheesecake business. Thank you and Happy New Year!
Two years ago, Amanda Alsterberg’s husband announced a hankering for a bacon and maple cheesecake. Having followed other recipes previously, she searched for one that would satisfy her husband’s craving. When the search proved fruitless, she decided to try her hand at creating an original recipe – and found that she had a flair for it! Soon, requests for her delicious cheesecakes were pouring in from friends and family who urged her to consider selling her creations.
When she is not making cheesecakes, Amada, 27, occupies her time as a Nanny for two different families. She has been married since 2006, to her husband, Steven, who is in the National Guard. Her additional hobbies include reading and running a book club called “Fangirls Read it First”. She is an avid coffee drinker and a self-described “Sci-Fi Nerd”.
If you want to order one of these one-of-a-kind desserts, you can follow this link: www.facebook.com/otherworldlycheesecakes/info. You can also contact her at (971) 222-5385 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org