Sunday, March 30, 2008

New York-Style Cheesecake

This is a Martha Stewart recipe. It is really rich and really good. We only make it at Easter, then take a few days to eat around half of it; then we freeze small portions in wax paper and aluminum foil. This way we get a little bit all year round. It's a little time consuming and mine has never ended up looking like Martha's, but that hasn't changed how good it is. The other thing is, we always seem to have filling left over, after we have filled the spring-form pan. We normally take the remaining filling and bake it in a graham cracker crust.

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans

1/2 recipe Chocolate Wafer Sandwich cookie dough (I make the whole thing, and freeze the other half; just because I am not sure how to half the recipe exactly)

3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 lrg eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan, patting it into an even layer. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil. Freeze the dough in the pan, about 15 minutes.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on a medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; DO NOT OVERMIX.

Pour cream cheese filling into the prepared pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully ladle boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; leave cake in oven with the door slightly ajar, 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, fun knife around the edge of the cake.

Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 lrg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

In large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap (every time I have made it the dough as been pretty sticky) , and divide in half. With floured hands shape each piece into a flattened rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

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