Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New York Cheesecake

 You know how doctors have been telling us for years that we need to have more sugar and cream cheese in our diets? Well this recipe has it all :) This is seriously, hands down, the best recipe for cheesecake I've ever made! I've been using it for a couple of years now and it always turns out beautifully.  It's easy to adapt up or down to make different size cakes but this recipe makes a standard 9 in. round cheesecake.

When it comes to cheesecake the actual baking is the tricky part.  The ingredients are pretty standard but the instructions are especially important.  You'll want to get ingredients to room temp, not over beat the eggs, and take a lot of care setting up your water bath to bake it in. The other tip is that I think it's best if you make it a day or two before you want to eat it.  The recipe says to let it sit 4-6 hours but really 24 hours is the best.  I usually make the cheesecake two days before I want to eat it and then put the topping on a day before. But that's just my own recommendation. It might sound daunting but after a few times it becomes a pretty simple process.

Although this recipe always turns out beautifully it usually does still have a little crack or two in the top that I cover up with the sour cream topping but this was the first time that the top came out PERFECT! Not even one little crack.  My husband was pretty amused with how excited I was about it! But look at that smooth perfection...bam...

Gorgeous right!!?? It's the little things in life I guess. Give this recipe a try and make your own special treat for you next birthday/holiday/date night/long weekend/just because day!!

New York Cheesecake:

9 in. spring form pan
18 in. aluminum foil
large roasting pan or 12 in. round cake pan
boiling water

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used about 1/2 a box)
3 T. sugar
1/3 cup butter
pinch salt

4 (8 oz.) bricks of cream cheese (splurge and use Philadelphia brand!) (room temp)
1 T. vanilla
pinch salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs (room temp)
2/3 cup sour cream (room temp)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (room temp)

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Set out your cream cheese, eggs, sour cream and whipping cream about 30 min. prior to starting to make your cheesecake to bring them to room temperature.

Using the large aluminum foil completely cover the bottom and sides of your spring form pan.  I usually do 2 or 3 layers.  This is to keep the water out during the baking process.

In a food processor combine graham crackers, sugar, butter and salt until course crumbs are formed. Press crust into the bottom of your spring form pan and about half way up the sides.  A cup with a flat bottom can help press your crust into a more uniform thickness (about 1/4 in.) and get it in the corners of the pan.

Bake crust for 12 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.  Set aside.

While crust is baking put 6-8 cups of water on to boil.

In a large stand mixture, beat cream cheese, vanilla and salt on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Turn speed to low and slowly add sugar.  Scrape sides of bowl and beat on high for 1 more minute.

Return speed to low and add eggs one at a time, beat just until incorporated.  Don't over beat once the eggs are in or you'll end up with cracks! Scrape sides of bowl and add sour cream and whipping cream and return to high for one more minute.

Place the spring form pan inside the larger roasting or baking pan. I use a 12 round cake pan that works perfectly.  Pour the filling inside of the crust and smooth with a spatula.  Move the rack in your oven to the bottom third of the oven and turn the temperature down to 325.

Place the pan on the rack and carefully fill the outer/larger pan with boiling water (taking care not to get any water on the actual cheesecake itself.

Bake at 325 for 2 hours.  When cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven, slightly open the oven door and leave cheesecake in the oven for another hour.

Remove cheesecake from oven and leave on counter for 30 minutes to continue cooling.  Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (I recommend overnight or longer!)

Use a knife to make sure your crust is completely seperated from the sides of the pan and remove the pan. Top cheesecake with sour cream topping and allow to set another 4 hours before serving.  Top with fresh fruit, chocolate or caramel drizzle, etc if desired!

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