Adventures in Cheesecake Making: Take 1

In order to grow as a baker (and a person, for that matter), one must try new things.  OK, so in my life that normally means baking disasters, burns, etc, so I prefer the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

A while ago, a coworker of mine challenged me to make a cheesecake.  I have to admit, I’ve always been afraid to attempt to make one.  But he was VERY persistent and I finally conceded.  What was the result? This:

No, the “H” in the middle was not some type of decorative touch.  It cracked…..well, ok so it pretended it was the Grand Canyon. The good news is that it tasted fantastic.  The recipe I used must take all the credit because I have NO idea what I’m doing in the way of cheesecakes.

***Note:  If you’re excellent at cheesecake baking, please please feel free to write a comment and share your thoughts.  I am very open to suggestions, and I love getting comments 🙂

What went wrong?? Well, I’m looking into trying it until I get it right.  Next time, I refuse to open my oven door to check on the thing.  Because it was my first cheesecake experience, I was a little afraid it would overflow, spontaneously combust, whatever.

Other thoughts: I’m aware that a water bath helps with even baking and preventing cracking….but water baths freak me out.  I’ve been scalded too many times to want to attempt one. ….Oh! Also, I didn’t like how brown the edges turned out.  Now I know what I’m looking for though!

Stay tuned for future attempts at cheesecake making. For now, try this recipe!!!!! It’s amazing.

New York Cheesecake

Recipe from:  www.allrecipes.com

Makes a 9-inch cheesecake (12 servings)

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix graham crackers and butter.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, then eggs one at a time. Mix just until incorporated.

Mix in sour cream, extract, and flour just until smooth. Pour mixture into pan over prepared crust.

Bake at 350 for one hour.  Then, turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool for 5-6 hours WITH THE DOOR CLOSED! (This is where I messed up because I opened the oven within this time…which apparently makes it crack)

Chill in refrigerator until serving.

**Note:  When I first read this recipe, it was confusing as to what size graham crackers they meant.  I discerned they mean 15 small rectangles, which translates into a little over 3 1/2 of the large rectangular pieces that typically come in boxes**

I refuse to give up on making the perfect, canyon-free cheesecake. Stay tuned for (many) more attempts to come!

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3 thoughts on “Adventures in Cheesecake Making: Take 1

  1. Try putting the water in a pan on the rack under the cake. I bake the cheesecake then turn oven off, crack the oven door open leave cake to cool slowly for an hour. Remove cake from oven and let cool another 45 mins to an hour. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

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