Easy cheesecake recipes?

Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby holliejjj » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:44 am

My MIL is coming into town for Jasmine's birthday and she loves cheesecake. My mom just so happened to have bought me a springform pan for my birthday. I have never used it and never have made cheesecake before.

Does anyone have a pretty foolproof cheesecake recipe?
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Re: Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby ruffages » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:43 pm

Hollie,

I have several cheesecake recipes and they are all fairly simple. The absolute key with cheesecakes is to NOT overbeat. If you over beat (work too much air into them) they will puff up, then fall and crack.

There are also two completely different schools of thoughts on water baths. Some recipes say you MUST. Some say you don't have to. My own experience is that I prefer not to. But it is a sacrifice. If I DO do a water bath, the texture of the cheesecakes IS a bit creamier, but the crust will almost ALWAYS be a bit soggy (EVEN if you get a leakproof seal on the pan, which you MUST do as a springform pan WILL leak, with aluminum foil) you will still get condensation in the crust that will make it soggy. AND I have had cheesecakes crack using a water bath, so a waterbath will not prevent cracking.

So, I make sure I wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil (when making the crust, butter WILL leak from the pan and burn at the bottom of the oven), make the crust, make the filling and cook in a low oven being VERY careful not to overbeat when adding the eggs.

My favorite recipe is a simple, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake:
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I like using ‘nilla wafers)
1/4 cup ground pecans (I switch out pecans and use toasted walnuts, ground)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake filling:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans
4 eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil OR be sure to bake on a cookie sheet.
In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and ground pecans if you have them. Add the butter and mix well. Press evenly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time and then the flour and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and heavy cream, beating on low speed until it is all combined. (NOTE…do NOT overbeat. This is what will put too much air into your cheesecake and cause it to crack.) Split open your vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds and guts inside the bean (SAVE THE BEAN PODS). Add this to your batter. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven until set, the center should be slightly soft. It should bake for 55 to 70 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosen the outer ring and let cool in the pan.
Refrigerate the cake, for about 6 hours, then remove the outer ring.
Take the scraped bean pods and put them on a container and cover with sugar…I happen to like using super fine sugar but regular will work fine. The bean pods will infuse the sugar with vanilla. Then use the sugar as you would sugar. I like using it to sprinkle on fresh strawberries for an added kick.

I also have a recipe for a White Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake (this was from Epicurious), but it is VERY rich so do NOT overserve (feeds about 12-15):
CRUST
13 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 50 cookies)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled

FILLING
1 pound good-quality chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's), finely chopped
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

FOR CRUST:

Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind cookies, sugar and ginger in processor. Add butter; blend until moist clumps form. Press onto bottom and up sides of pan. Chill while preparing filling.

FOR FILLING:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 300°F. Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler (NOTE...do NOT attempt to melt white chocolate in the microwave...it won't work. It MUST be done slowly over a double boiler) set over hot water until chocolate melts. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla and ground ginger. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate. Stir in crystallized ginger.

Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs and edges crack slightly, about 1 1/2 hours. (WATER BATH)

Transfer cake to rack. Run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Chill cake overnight. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter.

OK...one final thing that I haven't tried before but I just read about. Instead of using a water bath, a reviewer suggests using a ceramic pan (9x13) filled 2/3 with water placed on the bottom rack of the oven in advance of the cheesecake (so to create the steam like environment). This actually makes sense...it creates the steam for the filling but preserves the crunch of the crust.

IMO, cheesecakes are a bit involved but worth it.

Carolyn
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Re: Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby Esther » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:54 pm

I've never heard of a water bath... hmmm. I've made lots of cheesecakes with my springform pan and have never had a problem with the crust leaking out either.

My stand by recipe is the choc chip cheesecake. I lost the recipe somewhere along my many moves but luckily it's the same recipe that's in allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and cocoa. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set crust aside.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk; beat well. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Toss 1/3 of the miniature chocolate chips with the 1 teaspoon flour to coat (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Mix into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 1 hour. Turn off oven (do not open oven door) and leave the cake in the oven to cool in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate before removing sides of pan. Keep cake refrigerated until time to serve.
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Re: Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby Heather » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:13 pm

I do a 'kind of' water bath.... I stick a9x13 pan with water in it on the bottom rack of the oven, with the cheesecake on the top rack. That keeps the cheesecake good and creamy while not making the crust soggy.

Will is my cheesecake guy, so I'll ask him if he's got any easy recipes. :smile:
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Re: Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby Linda » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:28 am

bump for tina
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Re: Easy cheesecake recipes?

Postby Tina » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:43 pm

Added to PnM Cookbook 4/23
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