5 Steps to Make the Best Cheesecake Ever
A few days ago Alex's mom and I decided to make cheesecake from scratch and try out several recipes to find out which one was the best. Our baking frenzy turned into some kind of contest with 4 recipes and only one winner, crazy I know.
After an afternoon of tasting desserts and making some very tough decisions, we came to the conclusion that this one right here was numero uno in our books.
Now go on, grab a notepad and keep on reading to get the killer recipe for this cheesecake. I'll also share the tasty secrets that added so much flavor to it, all courtesy of Alex's mom, Yvonne, who is an amaaaaaazing cook with mad skills. Oh the deets!
The Best Cheesecake Ever Recipe
Although the filling contains only five ingredients and is very simple to make, it delivers all the decadently rich, creamy smoothness that makes cheesecake so popular.
Here's what you need:
- 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound sour cream
- 4 cups of graham crackers
- 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 stick butter softened
- Parchment paper
- Melted butter to butter the pan
- 24 cm (9 in) springform pan
- Small food processor
- Electric mixer
This type of pan is ideal for this recipe:
Step 1 The preparation
- Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°
- Cut parchment paper in a circle that fits the pan bottom and a long strip for the sides. (We're covering the inside surface of the pan so the cheesecake doesn't stick anywhere)
Tip # 1: Butter inside of pan and also the parchment paper on both sides. You can never be too safe.
Step 2 The crust
- Smash 4 cups of graham crackers inside a large ziplock bag, and then pulverize them using a small food processor until finely ground.
- Put 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts (or any nut of your liking) in bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds at a time until nuts are of a fine and evenly ground.
- Mix in softened butter with the mix of nuts and pulverized graham crackers.
Tip # 2: The oil of the nuts will help the crust stick together and be easier to mold in the pan. Plus the flavor... mmmm
Step 3 The filling
- Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
- Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix until well combined.
Step 4 Putting it together
- Spread the crust mix 1 inch thick evenly inside the pan. Compact it using the bottom of a cup and build up a crust wall all around the inside of the pan, 1 inch tall (or as high as you want it to be)
- Pour the filling inside the pan with the crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 350° until the edges are done and the center is still wobbly.
Step 5 Where the magic happens
- Take out the cheesecake and let it cool in a rack for 5 minutes. (Leave the oven on!)
- Stir together the sour cream, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Drop spoonfuls of topping around the edges of the cheesecake and spread evenly over the top.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
Tip # 3 Once the time is up, take the cheesecake out of the oven and run a knife through the edges to loosen it. This will prevent cracks when it's cooling down.
Let cheesecake cool down completely and then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours.
There you have it! The simplest ingredients that make for the most delicious cheesecake of all.
This recipe is an adaptation of the Three Cities of Spain Coffeehouse recipe, in the Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl page 751.
Try it out and let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear from you!
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