January 13, 2014

The Perfect Cheesecake

Remember how that frog from Looney Tunes would sing "Hello My Baby" while strutting around with his top hat and cane?

Well, that’s what I’m doing right now in my mind.

Because, I've been looking forward to giving you this recipe for years! And I finally made it this weekend!

And I literally (yep, literally) strutted around my kitchen this weekend singing like that frog at the top of my lungs when I served this.

I’m pretty sure Husband thinks I've finally cracked my nut.

My mom’s friend, Suzy, gave us this recipe forever ago and it is the single best cheesecake recipe I've ever made. EVER. Suzy calls it Awesome Cheesecake and that, it is, but I’m going to call it Perfect Cheesecake because, well, it’s perfect!

I like to make it with a gingersnap crust but if that’s not your thing, feel free to substitute graham crackers.





The Perfect Cheesecake
Gingersnap crust:
2 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Cheesecake filling:
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint heavy whipping cream

Make the gingersnap crust:
Break gingersnaps by hand then add to a food processor. Pulse broken cookies into crumbs and until no chunks remain. I used about a half of an 18-oz. bag to yield 2 cups. Combine gingersnap crumbs and sugar in a medium-size bowl then add melted butter; mix well.

Press crumb mixture on the bottom and about an inch and a half up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. I use a heavy drinking glass to do this.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then cool crust completely.

Make the cheesecake filling:
Beat cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla in a large bowl or stand mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer).

Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add sugar and flour and continue mixing at low speed for five minutes, scraping down sides of bowl periodically as needed. Add whipping cream and mix just until filling is smooth and creamy. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Prepare water bath and bake the cheesecake:
Set oven rack to the middle position in your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set 4 cups of water to boil in the microwave.

photo of water bath from Food Network
Select a baking pan large enough to set your springform pan in. Place a large piece of aluminum foil in the baking pan. Set the springform pan on the aluminum foil then bring the aluminum foil up around the bottom of the pan (at least one inch). Crimp the foil in such a way as to create a watertight “shell” around the bottom of the springform pan (this is to ensure no water gets into the bottom of your springform pan).

Place baking pan (with springform pan) in oven. Pour enough boiling water into baking pan to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan (but not higher than the aluminum foil surrounding it).

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and set and only a small circle in the center jiggles slightly – the center will firm up during the cooling process. RECIPE 911: If you overcook your cheesecake and it cracks or just isn't pretty on top, mix together 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste) until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture on top of cheesecake. Boom. Crisis averted. 

Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or place in an airtight container) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Serve plain or with chocolate sauce, cherry pie filling, lemon curd, fresh fruit or whatever else suits your fancy. I was fancying some cherries so that’s what I used!


The Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake
Oreo crust:
3 cups crushed Oreos
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Cheesecake filling:
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint heavy whipping cream

Make the Oreo crust:
Combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter in a medium-size bowl; mix well.

Press crumb mixture on the bottom and about an inch and a half up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. I use a heavy drinking glass to do this.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then cool crust completely.

Make the cheesecake filling:
Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl or stand mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer).

Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add sugar, melted chocolate and flour and continue mixing at low speed for five minutes, scraping down sides of bowl periodically as needed. Add whipping cream and mix just until filling is smooth and creamy. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake per instructions above for The Perfect Cheesecake


PRINTABLE RECIPE


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25 comments:

  1. Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite desserts. I've got a couple of good recipes in my arsenal, but I'll have to give this one a try, too. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. You lost me with the gingersnap crust. In my opinion, it does not go with cheesecake.

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  3. You got to be kidding. gingersnap with cheesecake?

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    1. We heard you the first time! We just were not interested, because we didn't agree! If you don't like it, don't make it! So I guess you don't believe in flavored cheesecakes either??? I think Gingersnap crust would be AWESOME with a Pumpkin Cheesecake. I've made it, and it's awesome.

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    2. Ginger snaps and cheesecake go together like manners and good hearted people, another combination you're apparently unfamiliar with...

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  4. I make my pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap and pecans, it is amazing! This sounds fantastic and can't wait to devour another perfect dish of yours <3

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    1. Agreed! I love it and this is what makes it delightfully different without being too crazy from what we all know and love. Plus, I think it would really perk up the flavor without overwhelming the flavors of the cheesecake itself. Beautifully done Mandy!! Once you go snap, you never go back! Be brave Carla, you can do it. ;)

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    2. Gingersnap crust is awesome with pumpkin cheesecake so I am gonna say it will be delish with this one also

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  5. We happen to LOVE cheesecake in my house.
    We're always happy to try any and all kinds and this one will be added to my list of "must-make" and soon.
    Always nice to have a different cheesecake recipe, keeps our taste buds happy!

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  6. I think the gingersnaps are, well, perfect! Don't knock it until you try it :o) When I make a chocolate version of this I use chocolate wafers and they're amazing too!

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  7. I absolutely LOVE a good cheesecake. I cannot wait to give this a try.

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  8. I love a good gingersnap, and I think they would really brighten up the flavor of something we've all grown to love like cheesecake. But I think the most important thing to remember is what makes food fun....everyone trying new things, and loving different things. It's what makes the world go round. Just b/c you don't groove on something doesn't mean someone else can't :)

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  9. Suddenly I really want a piece of cheesecake!!

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  10. I will be making this cheesecake however I will be using granulated Splenda and omitting the crust to keep the carbs lower!

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    1. I've done just that and it works perfect! I've also made a "meal" from almonds in the food processor and mixed it with melted butter and brown sugar splenda to make a crust. It doesn't completely firm up like a crust but it works good enough for me!

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  11. The entire top of mine turned brown??? Any ideas? I baked it in the middle of the oven...

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  12. i made this, how many did you make from this recipe, there is no yield.....hope all goes well

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  13. Mandy...I have made this cheesecake on a couple of occasions for my family and it is absolutely the BOMB!
    My 11 yr old nephew called and told me all he wanted for his birthday was my cheesecake.

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  14. how would vanilla beans work to replace the extract?

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  15. I made this cheesecake and was undercooked. Consider baking through 30 more minutes and I would've cut the sugar a bit... Mine came out too sweet.

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  16. tried to save it on pintrest and it said it was blocked might lead to spam...dont get that!
    anyway as far as the crust you could always make a different crust

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  17. tried to save it on pintrest and it said it was blocked might lead to spam...dont get that!
    anyway as far as the crust you could always make a different crust

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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