It was my brother's birthday yesterday, and I decided to make a cheesecake. The original plan was to make a caramel swirl cheesecake and cover it with the chocolate ganache that was leftover in my fridge. When it was done though, it was so pretty that I couldn't bring myself to cover it.
This was the second cheesecake I've ever made and I have to say, it was delicious. Even with the de-fattening steps I took.
In case you didn't know, I have some major fat-content psychological issues. Therefore, when a friend sent me his mom's famous cheesecake recipe that called for 5 tubs of cream cheese and 6 eggs, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I found a recipe on Cooks Illustrated for a Rich and Creamy cheesecake and decided to go with that instead. Actually, on CI, there were three recipes: rich and creamy, light and fluffy, and dense and firm. They all called for the same ingredients, but did different things with the eggs and oven temperature.
The recipe called for four 8 oz packages of cream cheese, four eggs, heavy cream and sour cream. I used two packages of regular cream cheese and two of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, three eggs and one egg beater and low fat sour cream. Next time, I'll do the whole thing with the less fat cream cheese. This cake was so rich and good that I don't think it needs the extra goodness.
I also bought a jar of caramel sauce (mine never comes out as well as the store-bought stuff), and swirled it into the cake right before baking. I wasn't sure how it would effect the chemistry and baking, but it worked out perfectly.
Pics below, recipe's at the bottom. Sorry the pictures are so dark, I used the big flash, but I guess it didn't work.
Serves 12-16. Published September 1, 1995.
|1||tablespoon unsalted butter , melted|
|3||tablespoons graham cracker crumbs|
|2||pounds cream cheese|
|1 1/4||cups granulated sugar|
|1||teaspoon lemon zest from 1 small lemon, minced|
|2||teaspoons vanilla extract|
|1/4||cup heavy cream|
|1/4||cup sour cream|
- 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom of 9-inch springform pan with foil, tuck foil underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil around side of pan, (see illustrations 1 and 2, below). Brush bottom and sides with butter. Sprinkle crumbs over bottom. Tilt pan in all directions to coat evenly with crumbs. Cover pan underneath and along sides with sheet of heavy-duty foil (see illustration 1 of "Preparing For a Bath") and set in large roasting pan. Bring kettle of water to boil for water bath.
- 2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition. (If you don't scrape down the bowl after each egg, cream cheese that sticks to the bowl will ultimately show up as lumps in the batter.) Add zest and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer; stir in cream and sour cream.
- 3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan (illustration 2, below). Bake until perimeter of cake is set, but center jiggles like Jell-O when pan is tapped, 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar, using a long-handled kitchen fork or spoon to hold it open for 1 hour longer. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)