Perfect Cheesecake

perfect cheesecake

It takes a bit of practice to manage to make a perfect cheesecake . I have experienced cracked surface, under-baked filling, soggy crust… My all-time failure is water bath. I just don’t seem to be able to get it done without ending with leaking. Extremely frustrating!

perfect cheesecake

So I gave up using water bath. Instead I bake the cheesecake on the centre rack on low heat, with a shallow pan full of hot water on the low rack in the oven. I found it really helpful to maintain the moisture level in the oven, and the cheesecake will come out perfect – my kind of perfect cheesecake, which is dense, rich, velvet and creamy.

I keep an very close eye to the baking process when it’s almost done, making sure the edge of the cheesecake is a little puffy while the centre is still wet and wobbly. This is the right time to turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake in it to finish the cooking and let it cool slowly. This gently cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.

perfect cheesecake

Ingredients (8-inch cake):
Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Filling
2 packs 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, room temperature
Topping
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven at 350F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan.
Make the crust by mixing all the crust ingredients together in a food processor or with a fork.
Press the mixture onto the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Turn down oven temperature to 300F.
To prepare filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, sour cream and heavy cream on medium speed until smooth in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Then add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well blended.
Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Tap the pan on counter a few times to release all the air in the batter.
Position rack in the centre of oven and place cheesecake on it. Place a shallow pan full of water on the lower rack in the oven.
Bake for an hour, or until the edge of the cheesecake is puffed but the center is still wobbly and wet looking.
Turn off the oven with the door slightly opened, let the cheesecake sit in the oven to cool completely, at least an hour.
Chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
To prepare topping, mix sour cream and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread the top of the cake with the sour cream mixture.
Chill in refrigerator before serving.

9 comments

  1. I found this recipe through tastespotting and decided to make this cake to work related meeting. Maybe the title had me convinced ;)
    This was my second attempt to make any cheesecake-type product.

    I bought supplies for two cakes, which both succeeded well. On the first batch I accidently put the water pan already for the crust. I feel it didn’t ruin anything. I used oreo-type cookies sold here in Finland though. The crust was little stiffer on the first batch, but I was in a haste and didn’t crumble down the cookies enough.

    For the second batch I applied zest of two smallish tangerines and added little more vanilla extract. I also boiled the butter to brown for a while to add some flavor and the cookies were really fine crumbed. Also I did not fill the crust ingredients too tight on to a pan as this supposedly can make the crust hard especially with stuffed cookies like oreo’s.
    This time the crust was firm enough to keep the cake in shape and soft enough to be cut with fork fluently.

    There were no cracks on the filling after baking.
    I feel the zest added a nice hint of taste to the cake.

    I recommend to try this recipe! 5/5

  2. I tried to make this on Friday. I chilled the cake overnight, and had it for my friend’s birthday ladt night. And it was amazing! Probably the best cheesecake and cake I’ve ever made! The cake was creamy, velvety, rich and very delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  3. It does look perfect! I have never heard about your method before. But if it makes a cheesecake like yours, I will definitely give it a try! :)

  4. What a beautiful cake! I am very intimidated about waterbath too. I think i will give your suggest a try! Thanks!

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