Saturday, January 3, 2009

Creamy Cheesecake

Its been a while since I've posted...I've been a little preoccupied with the holidays, sick kids, and all, but I'm back!  I didn't do too much cooking this season.  Usually I bake goodies for friends and family, but I had too much going on otherwise this year, so my apologies to all of you who didn't get delicious goods this year.  I did however make my delicious Fruit Dip and Crab & Horseradish Havarti Dip.  They were both a big hit.  I did, though make one new thing...delicious cheesecake!  This is actually my first attempt ever at making a cheesecake and I think it went over rather least everyone SAID they loved it and the plate did end up empty when it was all said and done.  I've always been too intimidated to make cheesecake before, butit really wasn't that bad at all.  I used a spongecake crust, which I really wasn't a big fan of, but really you can use what crust you want...I prefer a graham cracker crumb crust.  I made a fresh boysenberry syrup to top it and voile!  This recipe actually comes from a cookbook I have of recipes from Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.  
  • 1 recipe crust of your choice (the recipe calls for Junior's Thin Sponge Cake Layer for Cheesecake, but I'm not a big fan)
  • 4 (8-oz each) pkgs cream cheese (the regular kind, not light Neufchatel), at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously butter a 9-inch spring-form pan.  Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.  Make the bottom crust for your cheesecake as directed.  When done baking (if baking is needed), place on a wire rack to cool in pan.  Leave the oven on.

While the cake cools, make the cream cheese filling: Place one 8-oz package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one.  Blend in the heavy cream.  At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended.  Be careful not to over mix the batter.

Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the crust.  Place the spring-form pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.  Bake the cheesecake at 350°F until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.  Remove the sides of the spring-form pan.  Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate.  Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate.  If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Julie R.

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