Last week I learned two important things. 1. Cheesecake is my dad's favorite dessert. I am not sure how I went my entire life without knowing this (especially considering my choice of profession) but I really had no idea. And 2. I learned how to make a cheesecake.
Throughout my life, I have made countless types of cakes, both good and bad, but never a cheesecake. Everyone always talks about how difficult they are to make - undercooked, overcooked, cracking tops - there are so many things that can go wrong. I was intimidated.
But, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just do it. And let me tell you, I am very glad I did (and so is my dad). This cheesecake is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and still maintains it's creamy consistency. it is the perfect base recipe that will allow all of your cheesecake dreams to come true.
Once you have a good base like this, it is so easy to add new flavors or different toppings - or you can even turn it into a Spiderweb to celebrate Halloween like we did here. The possibilities are endless.
- 2 cups crushed Oreos
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 - 2 oz. good quality white chocolate
*recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan
for the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 9" springform pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter until throughly combined.
- Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 1/2 inch up the side.
- Bake 12 - 15 minutes until the crumbs are set.
- Let cool on a wire rack
for the filling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar and beat on high for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and mix until just combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl with a spatula after each addition.
- Add sour cream and mix until combined.
- Add heavy cream and mix until combined.
- Wrap the outside of your springform pan in aluminum foil. It should look like this.
- Pour cream cheese filling into springform pan. Smooth the top with a knife or spatula.
- Place the pan inside a high-sided roasting pan.
- Create a water bath by filling the roasting pan with hot water until you reach halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- After an hour and a half, turn the oven off and crack the door open 1 inch.
- Leave the cheesecake like this for 1 hour.
- After an hour, take the cheesecake out of the oven and place aluminum foil over the top (making sure the foil does not actually touch the cheesecake).
- Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
for the topping
- Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the cream is boiling, pour it over the chocolate.
- Whisk until full combined. Set aside.
- Melt white chocolate in the microwave for 30 second increments and set aside.
- Prepare parchment paper or tin foil on a flat service.
- Take cheesecake out of the fridge.
- Pour chocolate topping over the cheesecake.
- Place white chocolate in a pipping bag and cut the bottom.
- Make a spiral with the white chocolate starting at the center.
- Starting in the middle of the spiral and drag a knife or a toothpick towards the outside edge of the cheesecake. Repeat 8 more times.
- Place cheesecake in the fridge until ganache has set.
- Keep in fridge until ready to serve.