Friday, February 12, 2010

Classic Cheesecake

For some reason I am thinking cheesecakes right now, so here is a basic recipe that you can go crazy with and add and play with in any way you want. The graham crackers can be changed to chocolate wafers. I have divided the filling and added melted chocolates to part to make marbled cheese cake. I have also not used crust or a spring form pan, greased a 9-by-13 lightly greased brownie batter in the pan first and then topped with filling; once baked and cooled, top with a poured ganache. Try whatever sounds good, it's all yummy. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of a slice of the cake, it is too yummy and we eat it up every time before I remember I need one.

1 ¾ -cups fine graham cracker crumbs
¼-cup sugar
½-teaspoon ground cinnamon
½-cup butter or margarine, melted
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1-cup sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla
¼-teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1-cup sour cream

Combined first 3 ingredients, add melted butter; stir well. Press firmly on bottom and 1 to 2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at º325 for 10 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.
With mixer beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy, gradually add 1 cup sugar and salt, beating well; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; scrape sides of bowl occasionally. 
Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Pour batter into prepared crust.
To help keep you cheese cake from being to dry, cover the bottom of the spring-form pan with heavy foil, coming up the sides a few inches, making sure the bottom ans sides are sealed. This can be done before you pour the batter in the pan. Place the spring form pan, with foil covered bottom,  onto the center of a shallow baking pan, such as a jellyroll pan with about one inch of water, like you do when baking a custard. 
Now place the pan into the center of the oven. Bake at º325 for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Turn off oven and leave in closed oven for 30minutes. The cheese cake will not look completely solid at this point, but will continue to cook in the warm oven. After the 30minutes remove the cake from the baking pan with water and place the cheese cake on a rack till completely cool. Refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours or over night.
Top with your favorite topping.

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