Dessert Week · Season 3 · Showstopper

Cheesecake of Dreams

Wow…I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since I posted about a baking thing! I was trapped inside for several days due to a snowstorm, did a bunch of weaving, started some KonMarie on my closets, and cleared off the table in my sewing room/creative space/Area51 (where there are more UFOs than Nevada!).

This week’s challenge was cheesecake! Technically, this was supposed to be a showstopper with all the tiers, but I know how much cream cheese it takes to make ONE cheesecake, let alone three, and I don’t have that big a budget…and certainly don’t need that big a waistline! My family, as per usual, aren’t very big cheesecake eaters–just the one kid–so making more than one seemed a waste.

I’ve had a lot of trouble making a good cheesecake in the past, so making one good one was going to be a challenge anyway, so one is good enough for me.

2 pounds of cheese…

I used a recipe from Simply Recipes found here which gave very good directions and has ingredients in both “American” and “European” measurements (by cups and spoons as well as weights). Four bricks of cheese, sour cream, heavy cream and sugar later…

The cream cheese was still a bit cold when I started, and would have been much creamier if it had been warmed to room temperature first.

I pressed the graham crackers into the 9″ springform pan and pre-baked it. Then I poured the mix into the graham crust (after it cooled a bit), then wrapped it in not three layers of foil, but five…only because the foil was not as wide as recommended–which was 18″, and I only had 12″. You place it into a pan–I used a 9 x 13 brownie pan–and put about 4-5 cups of boiling water around it. You don’t want the cake to get soggy, hence the layers of foil.

Press graham cracker and butter mix evenly in the pan–slightly raised on the edges to contain the cheesy goodness.

Bake at a low temp (325) for an hour and a half. Then turn the oven off, prop the door open and allow to sit in the oven for another hour. This helps prevent cooling too quickly and cracking on the top of the cheesecake.

Look at that…no cracks!

From there, you can make the sour cream topping and the raspberry sauce, but I opted to serve as-is with fresh raspberries. It was delicious.