Monday 7 December 2015

Beginners Guide To Making The Perfect New York Cheese Cake

Want to celebrate a special occasion with something effortlessly elegant?
Try out this creamy, rich dense cheesecake that is everything that you have ever dreamt it could be!!
Before I tried out this no-fail recipe, I also had my share of disappointments in the shape of dense, sunken cheesecakes before I realized that there are just a few simple rules to follow if you want your Cheesecake magic to work like a dream.
Below here, I am sharing a few tricks with you which I hope would help you a step closer to making your perfect cheesecake.

Tips to bake the Perfect cheesecake :
First and foremost, it is most important that all the ingredients should be at room temperature. So go on, take out your eggs, cream cheese and sour cream from the fridge and put it out on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
I like to use sour cream in my recipe, as in addition to giving the cheesecake a moist, smooth texture, it helps to alleviate the taste by lending a lovely tang which I love.
Also, I found that by adding just a little bit of flour or corn-starch to the cheesecake batter helps insure against the cheesecake top from cracking and results in clean, firm slices, though it does make the texture a teeny-weeny bit denser, and it is not as super creamy as it would be if you bake with only eggs. But the difference in the texture is very slight and can be overlooked if you are looking for a firmer sturdier cheesecake.
A water bath is another thing that helps you in getting amazing results with your cheesecake. Just wrap the bottom and the sides of the cheesecake pan in foil. This helps keep any water from seeping inside through the cracks of the pan when you place it in water. Once the pan is all wrapped up, place the cheese cake pan in a roasting pan or a large baking dish filled with a few inches of water. A steamy oven will help keep the cheesecake moist and prevent it from drying out.
Make sure when you are making your filling, beat it an extra minute or two, so that it is satiny smooth and lump free. 
I like to bake my crumb crust for a quick 10 minutes in the oven before putting in my filling. This gives you a nice crisp crust.
Absolutely, absolutely no opening the oven door to peek inside, however tempted you might be to check on the cheesecake while it is baking. This lets all the warm air escape out and any changes in temperature can cause the cheesecake to crack or sink in the middle.
Also no poking to see if it’s done. All it is going to leave you is a big hole in the middle and we surely don't want that. Just be patient and trust me when the baking time is done it will be cooked. The only way to find out if it is done is to give the dish a slight jiggle. If it is firm at the edges and a bit wobbly in the center that means it is done.
Congratulations!! You know now how to bake the perfect cheesecake, but wait there is a little more to come. Be patient you are almost there!!
The only thing left to do is to chill the cheesecake, uncovered for at least 4 hours or (ideally) overnight in the refrigerator. This is crucial for setting the cheesecake and getting a firm texture.
Now that you have learned all the tips and tricks to make the smoothest, most delicious creamy cheesecake ever, what are you waiting for?
Just follow the recipe below and reach your Cheesecake Nirvana!!
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
5 tbsps. butter
5 pkg (8oz each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
11/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
5 large eggs
2 tbsps. flour or 1 tbsp. cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 475F.
Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent the water from going in during the water bath.
To make the crust:
Crush the cookies in a food processor or in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin until they form fine crumbs – you should have about 2 cups. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in the microwave or stove top and mix it in the cookie crumbs, the mixture should look like wet sand and hold together when you press it in your fist.
Press the crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan.
Place the pan in the oven to bake the crust for 8-10 minutes till just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from oven to cool completely. Place a large roasting pan filled with 1 inch water while you prepare your filling. This will be your water bath.
To make the filling:
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed till smooth and creamy and no lumps are found. Gradually add in the sugar, sour cream, flour, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients for 5-7 minutes till the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Mix in the eggs one at a time till well mixed.
Pour the mixture into the spring form pan on top of the cooled crust.
Place the cheesecake pan into the water bath in the oven.
After 10 minutes reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Turn the oven off, leaving the door half open and cool the cheesecake for an hour inside the oven.
After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, remove the foil and transfer it to a cooling rack.
Run a thin bladed knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen the edges. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
Chill the cheesecake uncovered for atleast 4 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Take the cheesecake out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve.
Unmold the cake and if desired serve garnished with fresh fruits. If there are any leftovers, which I seriously doubt, store them uncovered in the fridge. 

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