I was quite pleased that the New York Vanilla Cheesecake won the poll this week, I've had some bad experiences making baked cheesecakes and I really want to overcome my phobia I've got of them, the only successful cheesecake I've ever made was a baked banana one that I made for a Daring Baker's challenge, the rest have either tasted disgusting, not been cooked in the middle or became soggy because the water bath leaked into the base of my cheesecake, not good!! However after many...and I mean many.. trial and errors I think I may eventually have cracked the cheesecake! Not literally of course hehe :P. I found that using full fat Philadelphia cream cheese gives a way better flavour and I prefer not to use a water bath for fear of leakages...and my New York Vanilla Cheesecake turned out great! Yay! There was nearly a disastor when I think I took it out of the oven too early and if I hadn't have decided to put it back in to cook for a bit longer I think it would have been a bit sloppy in the middle, but fear not it all set perfectly and was apparently delicious, I even had some mixture left over to make little tiny cheesecakes hehe!
Cheesecake Phobia Overcome!
New York Vanilla Cheesecake
200g crushed digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
32 ounces cream cheese
10.5 ounces granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
5 large eggs
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325F (165C). Process the graham cracker pieces in a food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the melted butter and sugar over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumbs firmly into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake the crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 500F (260C). Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Beat in half of the sugar and salt until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the remaining sugar until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla until incorporated, 1 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and eggs, two at a time, until combined, 1 to 3 minutes.
4. Being careful not to disturb the baked crust, brush the inside of the prepared springform pan with melted butter. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour the filling into the pan. Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes.
5. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200F (93C) and continue to bake the cheesecake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the cake registers 150F, about 1 1/2 hours, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
6. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and run a knife around the edge of the cake. Let the cheesecake cool until just barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, running a knife around the edge of the cake every hour or so. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.
7. To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a wet, hot kitchen towel around the cake pan and let sit for 1 minute. Remove the sides of the pan and carefully slide the cake onto a cake platter. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. The cooled, tightly wrapped cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.