Nov 24, 2012

Ultimate cheesecake

American cheesecakes are the best. I have my favorite recipe that's always a hit...leaving us with no leftovers. But it takes 24 hours to make, so you have to plan way ahead. And wait...

With this one, you wait 4 hours. American or New York cheesecakes usually don't take any flour, the baking time is short, the temperature is rather low but it requires long hours in the fridge.

When you take the cake out of the oven it's almost running. That's how it should be. It has no flour, so it won't be raw. Time and temperature in the oven are just enough for the eggs to set. The 4 hour necessary cooling time will make the cake firm.

Cheese is always a tricky ingredient in a foreign recipe. Every country has different cheeses that taste and bake differently even if they are all called "cream cheese". Same thing with sour cream.

I don't know if I got lucky this time or... was very confident it had to work. Because it did.

I bought my white cheese at my local market from a lady that owns a cow or two. She sells two types, moist and not so moist. The drier one is the one she recommended for baking.

The recipe said to beat the cheese for 2 minutes. I started beating mine (the attachment that you beat egg whites), and the dry crumbs of cheese were flying out of the bowl. It didn't look creamy at all. So I put a cloth on the mixing bowl, set the speed on max...said my little prayer and...the crumbs started to get together to become smooth cream cheese with no lumps.

The rest is easy. Till you get to the last part of taking the roasting pan full of boiling water with your cheesecake in it and don't know where to put it. Heavy stuff. I put it on a rug in the kitchen, spilled the water on the floor...

But the cheesecake held strong then went to the balcony to cool off, stayed there for a while and finally said "I'm ready!".

So were we...The name speaks for itself. Ultimately creamy, delicate, light, delicious! Thank you, USA!

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork


8 oz (225 g) finely ground Digestive cookies
1 stick (120 g) butter melted + extra for the form
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 pound (454 g) cream cheese room temperature
3 eggs room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 pint (480 ml) sour cream. I used homogenized, 12%.
grated zest from 1 lemon
1 dash vanilla extract


It needs to be cooled well before.
1 pint (300 g) raspberries
2 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C. Butter 8 inch/20 cm spring round form. Cut an 8 inch/20 cm diameter circle in parchment paper to cover the bottom of the form.

to prepare crust

In a bowl, mix ground cookies with melted butter and cinnamon till evenly moist.
Transfer the cookie mix into the form. Using a bottom of a cup and your hands press the crumbs lightly on the bottom and the sides of the form. Put it in the fridge for 5 minutes.

to prepare filling 

In a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat the cream cheese till all smooth and no lumps, about 3 minutes (depends on the cheese). Lower the speed. Add eggs, one after the other. Slowly add sugar. Beat it slowly. Add the sour cream, zest and vanilla. Combine all well without over beating, scraping the bottom of the bowl now and then.

Now transfer the filling into the ready form.

Wrap the form with aluminum foil. Place it in a big roasting pan filled with boiling water. The foil will prevent the water from getting in. Put the whole thing in the hot oven for 45 minutes. Not any longer. The cake will move like jelly in the middle, but the refrigeration will do the rest.

Let it cool for 30 minutes and then in the fridge for at least 4 hours, loosely covered with a wrapping foil. Go around the inside rim with a hot knife. Release the cake from the form.

to prepare topping

In a saucepan heat the raspberries with sugar till barely start falling apart, about 5 minutes. The topping should be cooled well before spreading it on the cake.

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