My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake, so I make it kind of frequently. There are so many variations for cheesecake but his favorite of all is the plain cheesecake, no sauces, no add ins, no nothing… just plain, he loves it! This weekend he asked me to make a cheesecake for him once more, so I am posting the recipe here for those of you who may like a good cheesecake too!
I have 2 recipes that I make frequently, and as with most cheesecake recipes they are both super easy to make. One of them has the basic ingredients and is very good, the other one has sour cream added to the batter and is delicious, truly the best cheesecake I have ever tasted! The best recipe is called The Ultimate Cheesecake and comes from chef Tyler Florence.
The other one… well… it comes from the cream cheese package, but is also very good! I like to make it and bake in muffin tins, so that we can freeze the leftovers and have “cheesecake muffins” for dessert during the week. The big cheesecake also freezes well, just slice it and wrap each individual slice in plastic wrap, put them into a plastic bag (or plastic container) and pop in the freezer. When ready to eat just let them out for about one hour to defrost.
Also, one of the recipes calls for baking in a water bath, but I found out that baking it without the water bath works very well. I think that the water bath makes a slightly creamier cheesecake; the one that I tested baking without the bath sort of rose in the sides and then sunk after cooled, but the flavor was just as good and everybody ate it smiling happily!
For the mini cheesecakes I use paper liners in the muffin tin, and as “crust” I use a cookie. I have tried with different cookies and the one my boys here like the best are chocolate chip cookies, but those vanilla wafers also work well. Really, any cookie you like will work, and if the cookie you choose is to big just break it a little bit around it until it fits the muffin cup.
You can add some jam on top, or even chocolate sauce to dress up your cheesecake, or if you are like my dear husband you may enjoy it just like it is, plain and delicious!
The Ultimate Cheesecake (Recipe from Tyler Florence – foodtv)
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.
Easy Cheesecake (from Kraft!)
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
½ cup sugar (can use more if you like it sweeter)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 pre-made graham cracker piecrust
Preheat oven 325. Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and mix until blended. Pour batter into crust. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Note: if making the cheesecakes in muffin pan use paper liners sprayed with cooking spray, a cookie for the crust and bake it for only 20 minutes!