Covered with a sour cream topping, this creamy cheesecake is finished with a fresh strawberry compote. It's a big hit with...
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Yes you can eliminate the topping, just cook the rest of the cheesecake until it is set. Just keep in mind that it will be a bit thinner due to the fact that there is no second layer. If you like, you could always use an 8" inch springform instead. Cheers!
This recipe calls for less than half the cream cheese than others I've seen. And indeed when I made this cheesecake per the recipe I ended up with a strangely thin cake to my eye - even with the topping (I used creme fraiche). By volume, it was also too sweet. You could easily reduce the sugar by a third or maybe even half if sticking with only one pound of cream cheese. It absolutely needs an 8" springform (I used a 9" model), even with the topping. The last ten minutes at 450 is also going to make the vast majority of run-of-the-mill sour creams start to separate - they have carrageenan and guar gum thickeners that will run when subjected to the heat called for in the last cooking step of this recipe.
The methodology also calls for extreme care when mixing the ingredients. The combination of relatively high heat, no bain Marie, and short cooking time will almost surely result in a cracked cake if too much air is whipped into the ingredients. DO NOT use a hand mixer for this cake - use your stand mixer WITH THE PADDLE NOT THE WHISK and mix on setting 1 or 2 and just barely until the ingredients are mixed. Hand mixers even on a low speed will beat too much air into the ingredients, especially if you are mixing in a bowl that's too large and whose sides are not as upright as the mixing bowl of a typical stand mixer. Do not use a whisk, even if hand powered. Whisks are designed to move air into a mixture which is an absolute no-no with cheesecake.
I strongly recommend a lower heat, longer cooking time in a bain Marie. The cooking strategy in this recipe may very well be a professional one - it calls for less than half the cooking time of most recipes I've seen, but boy a whole lot can go wrong. 'Nother thing - don't use a dark springform pan with the temps involved in this recipe and especially since no bain Marie is called for. Just use a plain bright aluminum pan. I'd also recommend buttering the pan, which this recipe did not mention.
If I double the recipe for a thicker cheesecake, how much more cooking time would I need if I cook at 350 degrees instead of 450? I will be using a dark 9" springform. Also, is there a formula for these types of conversions? Thanks much!
We used a 9" springform pan for this recipe, so make sure the sides of your pan are very tall or else a double recipe will run over the sides during baking. The first part of the cheesecake is cooked at 375 - you can lower the heat slightly (350ish) and bake the same way: until the center no longer jiggles when gently shaken. The second topping is baked at 450 - this you won't have to change. Good luck!
This is simply a different-style cheesecake - not super dense or high. It's just a different recipe. I suggest you try the recipe as is and then make tweaks to it based on what you like or dislike. Let us know how it goes! Happy baking! :)
I wish that I had taken the time to read the comments -- especially those by Charles S. I did not mind that the cheesecake was thin. However, the recipe was too dry. I usually make smaller cheesecakes in my pressure cooker, which turn out tall and velvety smooth. This cheesecake was dry and crumbly. Each layer cracked in several places while still in the oven -- even though I confirmed my oven temperature with a thermometer. Once completely cool, I was able to smooth out the cracks in the top layer with a butter knife dipped in boiling hot water. The cheesecake was not very pretty, and so I decided to cover the entire top with a marion berry compote (the fruit currently in season in my region) and served it to my guests. With the touchup, this cake was passable. I would probably not choose to make this recipe again.
My cheesecakes are a family favorite but there always seems to be 'wet' spots in the crust. If there are any leftovers the crust is all wet by the third day. I've tries clarifying the butter, using less and using a bit more crumbs but still moisture is leaking through somehow. Any help please.
To ensure a very crisp crumb crust, you can prebake crumb crusts prior to filling them. Also make sure to pack the crumbs tightly. Due to the nature of cheesecake and its moisture content, it's normal for the crust to start to become soft by day 3. You can try brushing the crust with beaten egg white during the last few minutes of baking to seal the crust from the moisture but, again, it will only last so long. Best to eat the cheesecake sooner rather than later :-) Cheers!
I made this as a desert for a holiday party. Usually not a good idea to try something completely different for public consumption without practicing first. But the recipe is a good one and the advice was valuable. I got rave reviews.
I'd like to thank Charles S for his advice on mixing. I used my stand mixer on 1 or 2. I had no problems with cracking of either layer, despite using a 10" pan. With the 10" pan the bottom layer was done in just under 20 minutes. I also used less sugar, per his advice, only 3/8 cup for the cream cheese layer and the called for amounts in the other layers. I think I'll go with only 1/4 cup next time. I think Americans like things too sweet.
With the 10" pan it was more like a tort, thickness wise, than a cake. So I called it my dieters cheesecake, each slice has less calories that a usual cheesecake. Being thinner, for a given size of slice, it is a true statement.
I had a happy accident. I was wondering why I had two bottles of vanilla extract, until I tasted the result. I had used almond extract instead and the result was wonderful.
Since berries are out of season, unless you want to spend $8/lb I used a bag of frozen strawberries and a bag of frozen mixed berries. I used the strawberries to make the sauce and strained it after cooking. This preserved most of the flavor and yielded a nice clear sauce, almost like a glaze. Once the thawed and drained mixed berries were folded in it made a very colorful addition.
One interesting note, I used local free range chicken eggs. The yolks were a very deep yellow which resulted in the cake taking on a much richer yellow color than the photos in the recipe. It made a nice contrast to the brown of the crust and the white of the sour cream layer.
All in all it was a great success, although I may look around for 8" or 9" pan for next time. Thanks Rouxbe for making me look great!