Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

I have always wanted to learn how to make the "perfect" cheesecake, the ones that you find in a restaurant, smooth and creamy. Picture perfect, also. No crack on the top, without having fallen. Problem: I didn't have a springform pan. This last summer, I finally bought one and have experimented with a few since then.
After reading countless tips and articles, I have come up with a few tips combined from many sources:
*Start with your ingredients at room temperature.
*Do not over beat, and keep your mixer at low speed.
*Use a water bath. I was confused at first and tried a few methods, this is what works for me: line the outside of your spring form pan with foil before you add your ingredients. When you are ready to bake your cheesecake, put your springorm pan in a pan (I use a jelly roll or large cookie sheet) that is filled with water and place it in your oven like that.
*When your cheesecake is done baking, turn off the oven and prop the door open, leaving the cheesecake in the oven for about an hour. (That keeps it from falling) Then take it out to finish cooling. When cooled, store in refrigerator.
*Store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, if possible. It tastes so much better after sitting for a day!

Here is my favorite cheesecake recipe so far, the filling taken from recipezaar.com and using a basic graham cracker crust. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures, so sad, because it turns out so pretty!

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
5 Tlbs butter, melted
1 Tlbs sugar
Mix ingredients until combined and press into a greased 9 inch springform pan, lining the sides abut halfway up and covering the bottom. Set aside.

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 eggs
16 oz sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each egg.
When eggs have been mixed into the cream cheese mixture, add flour, vanilla, and lemon juice. Add the sour cream and beat until well mixed. Pour cream cheese into the prepared springform pan.
Place on the top rack in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes.
When time is up, prop open the oven door and leave in oven for one hour. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Experiment: I wanted a berry swirl cheesecake for my birthday, so I tried a recipe that I didn't really like. I want to try combining that one and this one. Try taking 1 or 1 1/2 cups of the cheesecake mixture, add 1 Tlbs flour and 1/2-3/4 cup seedless jam. Pour filling into the springform pan. Drop the jam mixture into the cheesecake and swirl, bake as usual.

Unfortunately, cheesecake is not good for my waistline, so i have not tried it yet. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

No comments: