Classic New York Style Cheesecake
Rich, creamy, smooth vanilla heaven. Cheesecake!
So easy to make, yet so difficult to wait for. Patience is the key ingredient in this cake. But patience can be oh-so delicious too! Anticipation. Just the word makes my mouth water. Delicious Anticipation. Say it slowly, savor it!
Without further ado, here are our perfect cheesecake secrets revealed:
Classic New York Style Cheesecake
The ingredients need to be at room temperature.
Leave them on the counter an hour before baking.
1 ¾ cups cookie and/or cracker crumbs (about 7oz/200g)
½ cup melted butter (115g)
1/3 cup sugar (3/4 dl)
4 packages cream cheese (4x8oz) (900g)
1 cup sugar (2.4 dl)
1-2 tsp vanilla
9”-10″ springform pan
Prepare the pan.
You can butter the sides and the bottom, but you can also cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom so that you can easily transfer the cake onto a serving tray. In that case, just butter the sides. A couple small dollops of butter will help keep the paper in place.
Draw around the pan bottom with a pencil. Cut the circle out just inside of the pencil marking.
Make the crust.
Crush the cookies in a food processor
or place them in a plastic bag and crumble them with a rolling pin.
Stir together butter, crumbs and sugar.
Mix until it looks like this:
Press the mix onto the bottom of the pan and about 1½” up the sides.
Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Preheat oven to 350°F. (175°C)
The Filling ~
Put the cream cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth. Do not use a beater or balloon whisk! Those only gather the cheese inside of them! Use a wooden spoon or the K-hook on a kitchen aid machine.
Add sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between. Mix until smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost set.
The cake will rise, but will go back down as it cools. Let the cake cool slowly in the turned-off oven with the door held slightly ajar. You might need to use a potholder or wooden spoon to keep the door open. Cooling slowly is key to preventing cracks.
When the cake form is only slighty warm to the touch, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Overnight is best!
Serve with jam or fresh berries and whipped cream or top it with a glaze or just enjoy it plain.
Tips & Tricks
Creaming the cream cheese before adding the remaining ingredients is important. If possible, do not use a mixer or whisk. You do not want to whip in air. Air can cause cracking in the filling and it will be less creamy. Use a flat K-shaped beater or a wooden spoon.
To make sure all the ingredients are getting properly mixed, use a scraper to make sure none of the mixture is getting neglected at the bottom of the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to regroup everything as you go along.
The cake needs to bake in a low temperature and it needs to cool down very s-l-o-w-l-y. A cold or drafty place will lead to cracks forming in the filling. The best place for it to cool is the turned-off oven. I can’t stress this enough!
The cake is ready when it is cold, so just a couple hours in the fridge is enough. But it is best the next day. Cheesecake is not a last-minute option.
If the filling gets cracks, cover it with your favorite berry topping or with a glaze or just whipped cream and chocolate shavings! Cracked cheesecake is still delicious! 😉
In case the heavenly aroma is driving you crazy, you can time the baking to coincide with you leaving the house after you have turned off the oven. When you come back a few hours later the tempting smell should have dissipated and the cake should now be at room temperature. You can quickly hold your breath and put it in the refrigerator, and then try to forget about it for a bit longer.
Cheesecake is very rich and filling. This is good because it makes it easier to share. But try and sneak the last piece way back into the refrigerator for a midnight snack. Because you deserve it. Baking a perfect cheesecake is a lot of hard work after all. The waiting part, that is.