When I need a decadent dessert, nothing beats a smooth, creamy, tall New York cheesecake. To make it extra special I topped it with a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache and raspberries. Tart berries give a perfect finish to this creamy concoction.
I am not using a water bath here as it’s baking at a very low temperature. Avoid over-mixing the batter as it will result in cracks. Cheesecake might look like a daunting task but follow the instructions to succeed. This simple vanilla flavor will convert any cheesecake hater to a lover.
The best thing I like about this recipe is that it has to be made a day before, which makes it easier for anyone who organizes a party. You can skip the ganache and serve it plain with some berries or chocolate sauce. This cheesecake is on the heavier side so serve about an inch wide slice. But people like me always goes for seconds and may some more the next day.
Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen
90 grams/ 6 whole graham crackers
65 grams/ 1/3 cup dark or light brown sugar
60 grams/ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
100 grams/ 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1130 grams/ 5 blocks (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
300 grams/ 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
80 grams/ 1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
220 grams/ 1 recipe Ganache
For making crust
1.Adjust the oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat to 325°F. In food processor crush the graham crackers. Add flour, salt and brown sugar, pulse to combine about 5 pulses. Add 85 grams/ 6 tablespoons butter and mix till evenly moistened. To do this by hand crush graham crackers in a ziplock bag. Put crushed cracker in mixing bowl, add rest of the ingredients and mix using rubber spatula.
2.Brush bottom of 9 inch springform pan with ½ tablespoon melted butter. Pour the crumb mixture in to pan and press evenly. You can use a small cup to make it firm and even.
3.Bake on the lower-middle rack for 13 mins, set aside to cool. Decrease the temperature to 200°F.
1.In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add cream cheese and 150 grams/ ¾ cup sugar. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add remaining 150 grams/ ¾ cup sugar and beat for 1 more minute.
2.Scrape the bowl properly using rubber spatula and add sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Beat for 1 minute on medium low-speed. Add egg yolks and mix for 30 seconds. Adding two eggs at a time and beat for 30 seconds.
3.Pour the mixture through a fine strainer in a big bowl, you will need rubber spatula to press the mixture out. Brush the sides of springform pan using remaining ½ tablespoon butter and pour the mixture into it. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
4.Using a fork draw lines to pop tiny bubbles that have risen to surface. Put in lower-middle rack of oven when it reaches 200°F. Bake for 3 hours and check internal temperature. It should be 165°F if not bake another 20 minutes. Do not open oven door first 3 hours and then only every fifteen mins.
5.Remove from oven and increase the oven temperature to 500°F. If it takes more than 5 minutes then run a knife between cake and pan to avoid getting cracks. Put in oven and bake 5 minutes for a golden color. You can skip this step if you don’t want color on top. Let it cool 5 minutes. Run a knife again.
6.Cool cheesecake at room temperature for 3 hours. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for 12 hours. Unmold by removing the outer ring and slide a thin long spatula. Put it over cooling rack place over sheet pan.
7.Make your favorite ganache and pour over it. Let it drip over sides. Arrange raspberry on top and let it cool for an hour at room temperature. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve.
8.Let it sit 30 mins at room temperature before serving. To get clean slice, run knife under hot water and wipe dry between each cut. Leftover can be stored for 4 days in refrigerator.