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Cheesecake II

Tried a different cheesecake recipe, this time, from cooksillustrated.com. It is definitely much more professional than my earlier one. I liked the taste of my earlier recipe, but the texture to this one is much better. So I've adapted the newer recipe in an attempt to get both the taste and texture I like.

Fresh out of the oven


4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1+ cup Oreo baking crumbs (basically crushed Oreos without the icing)

4 sticks of cream cheese (8oz/250g each)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp lemon zest from 1 small lemon
1 tsp cinnamon powder (not in the original recipe, which calls for 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 cup whipping cream (or heavy cream)
1/4+ cup sour cream

Essential equipment

9 inch springform cake pan (or even better: a "Cheesecake Pan with Removable Bottom"--but alas! I left mine in Singapore...)
Large roasting pan (big enough for the cake pan to fit in it)
Foil (larger version: 25 inch wide)
Electric mixer, etc.


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit) with the oven rack in the middle position. Wrap springform pan bottom with foil, tuck foil underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil around side of pan. Prepare a kettle of boiling water.

2. For the crust: melt butter, mix it well with the Oreo crumbs. Spread and push the resulting mixture onto the bottom of the pan evenly. Make sure that it covers the entire bottom. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool down. Bring the oven down to 325 degrees.

3. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth (I usually allow the cream cheese to warm up by it leaving out of the 'fridge before using). Mix in sugar, about 3 min allowing it to dissolve. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition, ensuring ingredients stuck at bottom of bowl are fully incorporated so as to avoid lumps. Add zest and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Manually stir in cream and sour cream. Beat egg whites to soft peaks (separately) and manually fold into batter.

4. By now, the cake pan should be cool enough to handle. Grease the sides with butter. Cover pan underneath and along sides with sheet of heavy-duty foil and set it in the roasting pan. Bring kettle of water to boil. Pour batter into prepared pan. Cover the top of the pan with foil (just put a sheet over lightly over the pan, don't bother wrapping it around the pan). Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan.

5. Bake at 325 degress until perimeter of cake is set, but center jiggles like Jell-O when pan is tapped, 45 to 50 minutes. Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar (using a long-handled kitchen fork or spoon to hold it open) for 1 hour longer. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.) If done right, the cake should shrink slightly, detaching itself from the sides of the pan.

Successfully made night of Wednesday, Oct 19. To add blueberry topping when serving (desert on Friday evening for guests).


Blogger JiE said...

heh!? any idea how much is a cup of sugar in g?

Thursday, October 20, 2005 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Huichieh said...

According to this, 1 cup of granulated sugar is about 200 grams. But ultimately, you are probably better of with a measuring cup.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If need to use the oreo biscuit without the icing means must scrape off? I am too lazy to do that so can just include the icing as well?

Friday, October 28, 2005 1:11:00 AM  
Blogger Huichieh said...

I don't think it will work--it will make the crust too sweet, and it may prevent the crust from forming properly at all.

You might want to look for packaged "Oreo baking crumbs". Might get lucky and find it on the shelf.

Another option is to use crushed digestive biscuits (or some other dense biscuit). You can also send it through the blender (or coffee grinder) instead of crushing it manually.

Friday, October 28, 2005 2:06:00 AM  
Blogger Beng said...

Hey, could you tell me what's the purpose of step (4) - "Cover the top of the pan with foil (just put a sheet over lightly over the pan, don't bother wrapping it around the pan). Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan."?

I didn't see this step in the recipe book I'm using. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2005 6:12:00 AM  
Blogger Huichieh said...

Good question--I should have explained. I actually used this recipe twice. The first time, the surface of the cake cracked rather badly. I conjectured that it's because of the direct exposure to oven heat. The second time round (the time about which I blogged), I covered the top lightly with foil to prevent this--and it seemed to work. The surface was not cracked at all. This is a conjecture on my part, not something from the recipe books.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger Huichieh said...

Or are you referring to the "water bath"--

Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan.

This is actually a fairly standard method for regulating the amount of heat getting to the cake. It's called bain marie (google for that).

Theoretically, with the bain marie, I shouldn't have needed to also cover the top. So it is possible that I did something wrong the first time round.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 9:15:00 AM  
Blogger Beng said...

Yeh, I found this after goggling:

"A bain-marie is a water bath which provides a more uniform baking temperature than the air of the oven. The reason for using a bain-marie is to prevent cracking of the cheesecake top and to give the cheesecake a smoother texture. "

Now I know how to prevent my cakes from cracking! Thanks!

Sunday, October 30, 2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mattie said...

why wrap outside of cheesecake pan with foil and then put in water bath to bake? Does water not sip into cake through bottom of pan

Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:13:00 PM  

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