What is New York Cheesecake anyway? New York Cheesecake is smooth, rich, thick and dense. It’s a cheesecake that you can only handle eating one piece of every few hours. It’s totally decadent by itself, but it often gets garnished with fruit compote, caramel or chocolate. You might say it’s the royalty of cheesecakes.
What are the ingredients that make up a New York Cheesecake? Mainly cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and eggs. Some recipes call for heavy whipping cream instead of sour cream. New York cheesecake is supposed to be dense, rich and heavy, whereas regular cheesecake is more light fluffy and airy.
If you think making a cheesecake is a difficult task, you’re wrong. It’s so easy to mix up a cheesecake filling. The only thing you must have is plenty of is patience. That’s because the cheesecake has to bake for two hours, cool in the oven for one hour, and be refrigerated for several hours before eating it. I know, crazy, and I am the person with no patience or willpower. However, I will admit that it’s so worth the wait.
Below are some important tips to help you make the perfect creamy cheesecake…
Preparing the batter
- Make sure your wet ingredients are at room temperature.
- Make sure you mix the cream cheese until it’s very creamy and free of lumps before adding any other ingredients to it.
- Use the right size springform pan. This recipe calls for a 10-inch springform pan. Don’t use one smaller or the cheesecake might rise and spill over the edges of the pan.
- Generously butter the insides of the springform pan.
- Don’t over mix the batter. Once you add the eggs, only mix long enough to incorporate them.
Baking the cheesecake
- Wrap heavy-duty foil under the bottom and up the outsides of the springform pan. This is important.
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. This is one of the secrets to moist creamy cheesecake. The water bath is simple. You simply place the foil-wrapped cheesecake in a water a large pan such as a roasting pan or large sheet cake pan. Carefully pour boiling water in the pan around the springform pan, making sure to not spill water into the cheesecake batter. The water should reach about 3/4 up the outside of the springform pan.
- Don’t overbake the cheesecake. When a cheesecake is done, it will still be a little jiggly in the center and the edges will be slightly puffed up. It will finish setting up as it cools.
Cooling the cheesecake
- Once the cheesecake has finished baking, remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath. Turn oven off. Remove the foil from the outside of the springform pan. Place the cheesecake back in the oven and leave the door slightly ajar. Allow the cheesecake to cool for one hour in the oven. This cools the cheesecake slowly which also prevents it from cracking.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
This cheesecake is so creamy and delicious, that it doesn’t even need a crust or toppings for that matter. It’s absolutely divine by itself.
FOR THE CHEESECAKE
- 4 packages cream cheese softened, 8 ounces each
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional
Toppings of your choice. The topping options are endless here. Chocolate, caramel, raspberry, strawberry… I was making this specifically for my sister, and she wanted chocolate magic sauce on it. You can purchase it at any grocery store or make this simple recipe, I’ve added here.
- 6 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao, chopped or broken into pieces
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Heat a large saucepan of water to boiling and turn off. Leave sitting on the hot burner, while mixing cheesecake.
- Prepare a 10-inch springform pan by generously buttering the insides of the pan. Tightly wrap two layers of regular foil, or one layer of heavy-duty foil around the outside of the springform pan, covering the bottom and all the way up the sides. Set aside.
- Add the cream cheese to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until the cream cheese is light and creamy and free of any lumps. Add the butter and mix again for about thirty seconds.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the sour cream.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice, if using, and mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy and all ingredients are well combined about one minute.
- Pour mixture into the springform pan.
- Pull a middle oven rack about halfway out from the oven. Place a large roasting pan or a sheet cake pan on the rack. Pour enough hot water in the pan to come up about one inch on the sides of the pan. Gently transfer the springform pan to the water bath. Very carefully, pour more hot water around the springform pan until water is about 3/4 up the outside of the springform pan. Very carefully, push the oven rack back into position.
- Bake cheesecake for approximately two hours until it is golden brown on top. Ovens vary, so this might take longer or less time in your oven.
- Remove cheesecake from the water bath and immediately remove the foil. Allow cheesecake to cool completely at room temperature before unlatching the ring on the pan.
- Leave cheesecake on the bottom part of the pan and refrigerate until very chilled before serving. I refrigerate it overnight.
- Serve plain or with the toppings of your choice, which are endless. See notes below for cutting the perfect slice.
There are two options for cutting a neat slice of cheesecake. You can use dental floss, or you can fill a tall glass with hot water and dip a knife in the water before cutting each piece, making sure you wipe the knife clean between cuts.
Freezing Cheesecake – Cheesecake freezes great. It can be frozen for up to three months. I wrap cold cheesecake in several layers of plastic wrap, then one layer of foil. To remove the cheesecake from the bottom pan, run a long knife under the bottom and using a couple of long knives, gently transfer the cheesecake from the pan bottom to a foil covered cardboard round.
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