“if it was ok to put my face in it, i would”
oh the cheesecake. this is one of those desserts i have been wanting to spend some time on for a quite a while. they make me nervous…don’t overbake…don’t overmix and for goodness sakes….don’t let the top crack! bah! so much pressure! but to tell you the truth….i kind of like pressure and challenges….and i’m not one to give up without a good fight.
the baking bibles (cake, pastry and bread by rose levy beranbaum) are where i usually turn first for quality recipes. rose boasted that this cheesecake recipe has made some turn up their noses to restaurant cheese cakes saying, “I don’t eat cheesecake out!” sounds like a good starting place to me.
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sour cream
9 oz white chocolate chips (melted)
9 inch springform pan
roasting pan – large enough to fit your springform pan
preheat your oven to 350º
begin with you crust. in your food processor finely chop oreo cookies and mix in melted butter.
prepare your springform pan. generously butter the bottoms and side of pan. place a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, on the bottom of the pan and butter paper as well. coat the bottom of the pan with cookie crumb mixture. take three or four pieces of aluminum foil and lay them down on top of each other so they all crisscross in different directions. place your pan on top and pull foil up along the sides of your pan, being careful not to tear it anywhere. this foil’s job is to protect your cake from the water seeping in so take it seriously. transfer to fridge to chill.
in a heat safe bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt your chocolate chips. remove from heat and let cool – still give it a stir here and there so it won’t harden back up.
in your stand mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar till well blended. add in eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl between. add in lemon juice, vanilla and salt. beat in sour cream until just blended. avoid overmixing as it will create air bubbles and possibly cause cracking. add in your melted chocolate, mixing till just blended.
pour batter into pan over crust. add about an inch of hot water to a roasting pan. set your springform pan inside the water and roasting pan. transfer to oven.
bake for 45 minutes. once that timer rings, turn your oven off and let your cheesecake stay put for another hour….trying your very hardest to not open the oven door at all… not while baking and not for the extra hour afterwards. (i mean, i couldn’t help myself….i was too curious….but you try your best not to!) once your hour is up, transfer springform to cooling rack and let cool to room temperature – about another hour and then cover and transfer to fridge to chill overnight.
to unmold, run a knife around the edge of your pan and then remove springform. i added extra cookie crumbs to the side at this point.
so, lets talk about the waterbath…scared? i was too. i decided to give myself enough time to make two different cheesecakes…just so that i could test out the waterbath method without the pressure of my first cake being the one i would share…which was a good thing, because my first attempt was foiled. i didn’t bake it long enough…so i had a mushy center and the water had seeped into the pan, so i had a soggy crust. waa waa. the outside of the cake was very tasty though, so i was conflicted….should i try the waterbath again…and risk another fail…or just bake it without the waterbath…and not get the experience i wanted.
well, i went for it. i took the two problems into consideration and was extra careful wrapping the springform pan with foil making sure and double sure there were no tears or gaps. i also gave it an extra 5 minutes in the oven, making my baking time 50 minutes. all the books and blogs will say, when you take it out of the oven, the sides will appear set and the middle will still jiggle when you shake the pan slightly…as it cools…the cake will set all the way through. it’s hard to know how much jiggle is too much…which is probably why i moved forward with my first cake to quickly.
this time it appeared that the cake had set all the way through once it finished cooling…but only in cutting it, would i know for sure. when i brought it into work i had B slice it…cause i was so nervous that it hadn’t baked through. “it’s like butter” she exclaimed when she cut the first slice. phrew! it came out perfectly….creamy, rich cheesecake. mmmm….i want another piece right now, just thinking about it.
so, success! rose…you win, you always do. it will still be a while before i take over cheesecake factory…but watch out! i’m on my way!
happy valentine’s from your lazy birds! hope you have a delicious day!