Friday, March 12, 2010

When a cheese meets a cake..

I was hosting a luncheon the other day so for a dessert I decided to bake a cheesecake from scratch.

Some people were asking me for the recipe I followed and this is what I came up with reading several sites with cheesecake recipes and putting together what I think will be disaster proof!

Some important tips before I write out the recipe.

@ Cream cheese should be at room temperature before you start creaming (to avoid lumps)

@ Wrap the bottom of the pan SECURELY with aluminum foil to avoid the water bath flowing into the cracks

@ Avoid opening/closing the oven door to peak at your creation. This messes up the even temperature. Leave it ALONE it will be FINE

@ Melting chocolate can be disasturous if you burn your chocolate. You can use a double boiler, boil hot water and melt the chocolate above the hot steam in another mixing bowl. Another option is melting the chocolate in a heatsafe container in the microwave. Heat in 10-15 sec intervals and stir the chocolate to get to desired consistency.

@ When slicing the cake, it's easier if you clean the knife with a clean towel after every slice so you don't make a mess and drag residue to another slice (I experienced this lol!)

2 cups Crushed Graham Cracker
1/2 cup of Butter
1 9"-10" Springform Pan

4 (8-oz) Packaged Cream Cheese
1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Whole Milk
4 Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 T Cocoa Powder


(1) Melt the butter in a microwave approx 30-40 sec at high (watch closely so not to burn the butter)
(2) With a fork, mix butter and graham cracker crumbs thoroughly
(3) Pour mix into pan and spread evenly (use the bottom of a measuring cup)
(4) Put the pan in the freezer until ready to use (I did it the day before and it was fine)

(5) Preheat oven to 350F
(6) Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil so water cannot seap in the bottom (double or triple layer if necessary)
(7) Allow creamcheese to get to room temperature
(8) Mix creamcheese in a mixing bowl until evenly whippped. Add sugar and mix until smooth.
(9) Use a rubber spatula to fold down the sides and mxi thoroughly for a no-lump cake
(10) Blend in milk and incorporate 1 egg at at time (just mix until smooth, no need to overbeat)
(11) Mix in vanilla, sourcream, and flour until smooth
(12) Set aside 2 cups of filling and pour the rest in the pre-made crust

(13) Melt semi-sweet chocolate using a double boiler or microwave
(14) Pour chocolate slowly into the filling you set aside. Add the cocoa powder and slowly mix until the batter is a chocolately color
(15) Pour the batter onto the cheesecake in small dollops or thin ringlets
(16) Using a skewer or chopstick, carefuly swirl a design on top of the cake. An easy way to get examples is youtubing videos of people doing it.

Note: I only wanted the design but not necessarly strong chocolately taste. If you want the proportions to be 40/60, feel free to set aside more batter and increase the amount of chocolate added.

(17) Set the cheesecake carefully into a larger pan (lasagna, casserole..etc) that allows room for a waterbath
(18) Place the cheesecake in the oven and carefully pour water in the outside pan until it immerses 3/4"-1" of the cheesecake.
(19) Close the oven and allow cheesecake to bake undisturbed for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for 4-5 hours
(20) Chill the cheesecake for at least 3-4 hours before you attempt to remove it from the pan. (I baked the cake the day before and didn't touch it until the morning after). Cut along the sides of the cake with a clean knife before you remove it.

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