How to make the Best Classic Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is a sweet dish consisting of one or more layers. The main, and thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar; if there is a bottom layer it often consists of a crust or base made from crushed cookies (or digestive biscuit), graham crackers, pastry, or sponge cake. It may be baked or unbaked . 
Cheesecake is a moist, delicious mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and eggs baked in a graham cracker or pastry crust. It's also very versatile, working well with a wide variety of flavors ranging from lemon and chocolate to pumpkin. 
Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, fruit sauce, and/or chocolate syrup. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as; strawberrypumpkinkey limechestnut, or toffee.
While the prep and cooking time is generally three hours, this creamy, dreamy dessert is truly worth it. 

A few tips to guarantee great cheesecake results:
  • Use a springform pan to make it easier to remove your cheesecake after baking.
  • Keep your oven moist to prevent your cheesecake from cracking. Just put a shallow pan of water beneath the cheesecake during baking.
  • You'll know the cheesecake is done when it's puffy around the edges and jiggles a bit in the center when shaken.
Ingredients For Crust

  • 2 cups (475 ml) of Graham cracker crumbs 
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter , melted.
Steps for crust
1. Choose your pan wisely. Cheesecakes are notoriously crumbly, so choosing the right pan will ensure that your cheesecake comes out smoothly when you take it out of the pan. For the best outcome, use a springform pan. This sort of pan is comprised of round cake pan with a removable bottom. It is all held together by a sprung collar.
2. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. For the best cheesecake you’ve ever eaten, you’ll need to bake it surrounded by boiling water  To avoid any water leaking into your pan and ruining your crust, you will need to wrap the pan with hole-free aluminum foil. Place a piece of foil under the pan and then wrap it upwards and fold it so that the foil rests along the edge of the pan but doesn’t fold over the lip.
3. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Once you have done this, preheat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, place the graham crackers into a blender or food processor. Make sure that the lid is tightly secured and pulse the crackers until they reach a finely ground texture.
4.Pour the graham cracker dust into a large bowl. Use a spatula to stir in the salt and sugar, making sure that all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove and then add it to the mixture. Wash your hands and use them to mix the ingredients together using a folding movement until all the ingredients are well mixed.
5.Pour the crust mixture into the pan. Save about ¼ cup of the mixture to use later if need be . Press the crust down with your hands, making sure that there are no holes. The result should be an even layer of crust that ever so slightly curves up along the edges of the pan.
6.Place the pan in the oven. The crust will need to harden up a bit-putting it in the oven for 10 minutes should achieve the desired texture. Once the 10 minutes have passed, remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 325°F. Let the crust cool for several minutes.

Ingredients For Filling

  • 2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)
Steps for crust Filling
7. Cut your cream cheese into large chunks. One by one, cut away a chunk of the cream cheese and place it into the bowl of your electric mixture. Use the paddle attachment of your electric mixture to get the creamiest texture. Mix the cream cheese for four minutes on a medium speed--the result should be a smooth texture.
8. Add the sugar to the cream cheese. Pour your sugar into the bowl and mix the two ingredients together for four minutes. Your mixture should be set to a medium speed. Repeat this process with the vanilla and salt. Add one ingredient and then mix for four minutes. Then add the other ingredient and mix for four minutes.
9. Crack the eggs into the bowl on at a time. When you add one egg, turn the mixer on and beat it for one minute. Repeat this process with the three remaining eggs. Use a spatula to scrape along the insides and bottom of the mixing bowl. This is important to do because large chunks of cream cheese can get stuck in these areas. Next, add the sour cream and mix thoroughly. Follow this up with the heavy cream, which you should also mix until the ingredients are all blended together.
10. Pour the filling into the pan on top of the crust. Make sure that you scoop out all of the filling while also making sure that it doesn’t overflow the pan. Once it is in the pan, use a spatula to make the top smooth.

Baking the Cheesecake
11. Place the springboard pan into a high-sided roasting pan. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully pour it into the roasting pan so that the water reaches about halfway up the side of the springboard pan. While this might sound like an odd instruction, you are actually giving the cake a water bath that will help the filling to cook without cracking the crust.
12. Place the pan inside a pan on the lower rack of the oven. Set your timer for one and a half hours and let your delicious cheesecake bake. After the baking time has passed, oven the oven and gently shake the cheesecake back and forth to ensure doneness. The cake should wiggle slightly in the center and should be firm around the edge. The center will firm up as the cake cools.
13.Turn off the heat. Open the door of the oven so that it is about an inch open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven as the oven cools, which should take about one hour. This sort of slow, gentle cooling will make sure that the crust doesn’t crack in the face of the cold air outside the oven.
14.Cover the top of your cheesecake with foil and place it in the fridge. You will want to leave it in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. The cold temperature will help the cheesecake to firm up.
15.Remove your cheesecake from the pan. Once it has chilled thoroughly, you can slide a spatula along the inside of the pan to separate the crust and cake from the pan. You must wait to do this until after the cheesecake has cooled or else you run the high risk of separating the cheesecake from its crust. Open the springform latch and gently remove the sides, leaving the cheesecake in all its glory.

Ingredients For Toppings

  • 2 cups sour cream (475 ml)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (35 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup water (120 ml)
Steps for crust Toppings
16. Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. Chill until you are ready to serve the cake.
17. Place raspberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Use a potato masher to mash the raspberries. Heat on medium, whisking, about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Let cool.

Prepare the cake to serve
18. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan, and place the cake on your cake serving dish. Run the side of a blunt knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Dorie recommends, and we've done with success, that you use a hair dryer to heat the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove. Open the springform latch and gently open the pan and lift up the sides. Spread the top with the sour cream mixture. Serve plain or drizzled with raspberry sauce.

Points to remember!
  • Put the biscuits in a food bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Stir through the melted butter and press the mixture into a loose-bottomed tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes to ensure a crisp base when your cheesecake is finished.
  • Beat the soft cheese until creamy, then add the sugar, followed by the flour and salt.
  • Mix in lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract, then gradually beat in the eggs.
  • Add the soured cream and whisk on the lowest setting of your electric beater or by hand.
  • Pour the filling onto the base and cook in a preheated oven.
  • If it's cooked the cheesecake should have a slight wobble in the centre.
  • Turn off the oven leaving the cheesecake inside to cool.
  • Spread a mixture of soured cream, sugar and lemon juice on top of the cooled cheesecake.
  • Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Bon appetite! ;)

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