Before I ever made a cheesecake I used to think to myself, “now that is one thing I am just too scared to try!” I don’t know what it is but they just look intimidating. Well after a while it started bothering me that I was scared of it and so I decided to tackle it head on!
I began reading different recipes, looking at reviews, reading articles on how to make the perfect cheesecake, and it all was a little overwhelming.
A few days later I was talking to a neighbor of mine, and she mentioned she knew how to do it! She gave me her tips, and I said to myself “okay I am just going to trust this is going to work and go for it”. I picked a recipe with good reviews, used my neighbor’s cheesecake tricks and poof… right before my very eyes sat thee most perfect looking cheesecake!
I could not believe how easy it was! It worked! So, I did some more research, made a bunch of different cheesecakes and decided that I needed to share these simple tricks with everyone who needs a little confidence booster in the cheesecake department. Right now… you are going to learn how to be a Cheesecake Genius!
Rules of the Cheesecake…
#1. Treat it as you would a newborn baby… think gentle, with care and without trying to disturb it too much.
#2 When mixing the ingredients- try not to over mix-this will cause the cheesecake to crack in the end (if you do though… not a big deal! You can fill those cracks with fudge or whatever is delicious to you! No one will ever know it once had some blemishes!
#3 The water bath… take a pan, set it on the rack right under the one that has the cheesecake on it and pour water into that pan- this allows moisture in the oven which helps prevent cracking and the crust from burning.
#4 After it baked in the oven for aprox. 75min.-jiggle the cake pan and if the cheesecake wiggles a little in the middle, and its firm on the edges and the top is starting to brown- its done.- Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in there for 1-2 hours more.
#5 Transfer the cheesecake from the oven to the fridge and let sit for another 6 hours- the reasons for rules 3 and 4 are because you are lowering the temperature of the cake gradually which prevents cracking and cheesecake needs time to ‘set up’. This is going to produce a beautiful creamy consistency. The longer you let it sit the better. I make mine the night before so I am not tempted to poke at it-which also creates cracking!
In conclusion the thing to remember is… If a baby was sleeping you wouldn’t wake it right? You would be gentle and try not to disturb the sweet angel as much as possible! Just think baby… baby that cheesecake and its going to be good to you back I promise! And guess what… that’s it! You are now officially a Cheesecake Genius! You are capable of a Cheesecake masterpiece!
I mostly use one cheesecake recipe but alternate it to create completely new tasting cheesecakes. So far I have made, Turtle Cheesecake, Roca Butterscotch Cheesecake with Salted Butterscotch Frosting, Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake with White Chocolate Frosting, Candy Bar cheesecake with Caramel Drizzle, and Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake.
Another thing, cheesecakes store really well! You can put them in the freezer and it will last months or in the fridge for a couple weeks.
Here is the recipe for the plain cheesecake. Let’s call it the “Blank Slate cheesecake”
Blank Slate Cheesecake
Ingredients for Blank Slate Cheesecake
3 cup (2 pkgs) Graham Crackers (crushed)
1/2 cup Margarine (melted)
3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in bowl with fork & press into bottom & 1-1/2 inches up sides of spring form pan. Just do the best you can.
Beat Cream cheese and condensed milk together until creamy.
Add remaining filling ingredients until well combined. Do not over mix.
Bake at 300 for about 75 minutes-until light golden on top , edges are firm and middle moves slightly- giggle pan gently. (Put a pan of water underneath to prevent burning the crust and for extra moisture).
Once done, turn off oven and leave the cheesecake for another 1-2 hours. Then move to fridge for another 6 hours. Remove outer ring and serve as is or top with desired toppings and serving!
Want to make it Fancy and Layer cheesecake flavors? It is so easy and here is how…
When you have the mixed cheesecake batter, take a cup of it and set it to the side. Melt ¾ cup of chocolate (white, milk, or dark, or butterscotch chips) and mix into the cup of batter. Pour half the plain batter into the crust and then the chocolate batter and top with the rest of the plain and swirl. This creates a layered effect! Do this with as many layers as you would like! Have fun and get creative!