Thursday, February 4, 2010

cheese cake as a birthday cake...

last weekend was one of my friends' birthday and I decided for the first time to bake a cheese cake as a birthday cake. my first attempt in cheesecake process was not completely successful so there was a huge chance that  this time the cake won't come out very well either. the birthday was on Friday night so I  prepared it the night before.. so till the time I served it I had no idea how it was going to be.but anyway it was not that bad ( that's what everybody said and I hope they weren't just being nice )
here is the recipe and it is from the "sweet cakes"

new york style cheesecake

For the crust 
5 3/4 honey ground graham crackers
2 1/2 oz (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar ( I did not use sugar in my crust)

For the cheesecake
4   8-oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup  of sugar
1 Tbs. flour
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
Important note :set all the ingredients at least 4 hours before you start baking ,out of fridge.

Make the crust:
heat the oven to 350 C. combine the cracker with melted butter till the crumbs are evenly moistened. put these crumbs in a 9-inch pan and press them with a back of a spoon into the bottom and walls of the pan. bake them for about 5-7 minutes. be carful that you don't brown the crust. let the pan cool on a rack while you prepare the cheesecake.
make the cheesecake batter
with the mixer beat the cream cheese with sugar at medium speed till it's fluffy ( about 2 minutes).on the low speed add the flour and one at a time add the eggs beating for about 15-20 sec in between. add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. the batter should be smooth and the consistency of a thick milk shake.

Bake the cake in a water bath 
wrap the outside of the pan in 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum  foil to make the pan water proof.brush the crust with a light coating of melted butter. then pour the batter into the crust. put the cake pan in another pan and carefully  pour water into the big pan till it reached halfway to the wall of the cake pan.bake at 350 for an hour. after an hour you could open the door of the oven and check the top if it's golden( when you shake the pan a little jigil in the middle is ok, it will set when it cools ) about 1h 10 to 15 minutes is enough.
remove the pan from the water and let it cool on wire rack. run a knife around the inside of the pan to free the cake from the sides.
after it is barely warm you could refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, or even better overnight.
for serving it , I put fresh blueberry on top, I did not had much time ( 30 minutes to get myself ready and the topping before going to the party) but it is much better to fix the blueberries with a thin layer of gelatin or
In the original recipe, the recipe for the cranberry- cointreau sauce is described wich used for the topping. I'll try that next time.

golden top
comments: this time the cheesecake did not crack on the top and was much softer than the first time. I think baking in the water bath helped a lot and the fact that I did not let it bake too much.


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