So I have a confession to make ~ I REALLY have wanted a spring form pan but I NEVER make cheesecake so I didn’t really have a reason to get one. Plus, I mean, I’ve made it this far in life without one so I am probably not missing out, right?
Then, I got this crazy idea in my head that “maybe, just maybe” I could score some brownie points with The Bossman if I made his FAVORITE dessert this year instead of giving him a bag of baked goodies for Christmas.
TADAH! Justification for buying a set of 3 Spring Form Pans and they were cheaper than just one on sale – woohooo!
I browsed for recipes like crazy, but, finally decided on The Classic New York Style Cheesecake Recipe from The Joy of Baking. I really liked all the tips they offered and decided that cheesecake really NEEDS to have that sour cream “frosting” on it.
I think I may have actually felt my arteries clog as I made it, but, I FOLLOWED The Joy of Baking Recipe to a T with a few additions :D Sorry, my loyal readers, sometimes the REAL DEAL is necessary….afterall, the goal was the impressed The Bossman 🙂
I figured my fancy dessert required fancy tools. So, I broke out the mini 4-Cup Cuisinart Food Processor that I received at BlogHERFood09!
I measured out 200 grams of Cinnamon Graham Crackers (it was easier to weigh vs trying to measure 2 cups) and added them to my chopper. I think vanilla wafers or the recommended gingersnaps would be awesome too.
I “GRINDED” them until smooth.
It amazed me at how fine the graham crumbs became – LOVE my Cuisinart!
I decided to use some Kerrygold Unsalted Irish Butter since Irish butter is a bit sweeter than regular butter. I used half of this blog ~ CRAZY!
Combine the graham crumbs with butter and sugar & tadah ~ instant graham crust. I was thinking walnuts would be an awesome addition too. Ok, that was easy so far!
I used my FANCY roller to press the crust evenly into my springform pan making sure I went up the sides ~ 1 inch.
Start out with more FULL FAT cream cheese than I’ve ever had in my house in my ENTIRE life. That would be FOUR blocks.
Add flour and MORE sugar and blend just until combined ~ 2 minutes. I added 1/4 c more sugar than the recipe calls for.
JOB TIP ~ It’s important to NOT overblend or it can make your cheesecake crack. Also, make sure you scrap the sides of your bowl as you mix to get it well combined.
I set my kitchen timer and added each egg one at a time, blending for 30 seconds each time.
Clog, clog, clog…..Add Heavy Whipping Cream, vanilla extract and Lemon zest. I doubled the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Stir just until combined.
Carefully pour into your graham crust. Be sure to put your spring form pan on an old cookie sheet to catch any excess that drains from the cheesecake as it cooks.
Bake for a million years….kidding. I honestly do think that the JOB approach is perfect for baking the cheesecake and preventing it from cracking. You cook it slow and low. I set my timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then, watched it until I felt it was done and looked like the JOB description ~ around 1 hour and 25 minutes.
During the last 15 minutes, I whipped up the sour cream frosting.
Top with frosting and bake another 15 minutes.
JOB TIP ~ Taking a thin sharp knife to slide around the edges after you remove it from the oven is a KEY TIP! This will help prevent your cheesecake from cracking as it cools.
Your cheesecake will shrink as it cools. Chill overnight in the fridge before removing it from the spring form pan.
NOTE TO SELF: Add Parchment paper BEFORE cooking next time so you can slide it off easier. I realized this AFTER I cooked the cheese cake so I had to slowly “pry” the cry then slid it onto my “homemade” cheesecake carrier (2 cardboard circles taped together and covered with foil.)
As you can tell by the above, I am not exactly a “baker” and lack the smooth cheesecake surface. No problem, I FIXED that by shredding some Coffee Crunch Dark Chocolate Bar and sprinkling it over the top.
Totally HUGE, thick, creamy and good! The Irish Butter with the cinnamon and sugar made the crust caramelize a bit. It was not planned that way but it was totally another layer of flavor.
The Bossman and the rest of the office LOVED it! I tried a small piece because I “needed” to make sure it was “ok” :D You can totally taste the lemon vanilla and it’s completely creamy and decadent.
Thanks Joy of Baking!!! You made my very first Cheesecake ever a total success!!!