Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Winner Is???

If there is ever a contest for the best cheesecake, I’m sure this would be the winner overall. When I made this, I put in a lot of pride and love into it. Don’t believe me? Then see for yourself, better yet, make it your self and you’ll see as to why I call it the…
World’s Infamous Cheesecake

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp. liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
Preheat oven to 350. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Chef’s notes: I used 2/3rds of the recipe and made 12 individual "muffin" cheesecakes and baked them for 30 minutes. Also, my muffin tin did not fit into any other container. So instead of using a water bath, I just placed a 9x13 Pyrex dish with boiling water on the oven rack below the one that was holding up the muffin tin.

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