Hi friends! Happy Memorial Day. What a precious day of reflection on all those who have given their lives for our country and our freedom. I hope you all spent it with loved ones!
Between visiting family, overhauling my flower beds, and work travel, I’ve been slacking on the blog game! I am back in business now though. Today, I want to share with you a recipe I made for my mom’s birthday. Every year for her birthday, I decide to tackle a cheesecake (since I know it is one of her favorites). Last year, she was on the keto diet, so I made a keto-friendly cheesecake that actually turned out really well (see that recipe here)! However, this year I was upping the ante. I decided to take on a more complex homemade baked New York-style cheesecake recipe with 1 goal: no cracks in the cheesecake.
I started with this recipe after doing a good bit of reading about water baths, over-mixing, and room temp ingredients. Since I stayed pretty tight to the original recipe, I won’t type it out here but will share some of my notes…
- When she says you NEED 18in wide aluminum foil and a springform pan – trust her! I don’t know how I would’ve done this without them. The 18in aluminum foil gave me peace of mind in ensuring my water bath didn’t leak into the cheesecake. I thought this variation of aluminum foil would be hard to find in a store, but I easily found it in my local grocery store. You can also purchase springform pans like this one for pretty reasonable if you don’t have one.
- It’s essential that your ingredients are at room temp – it’s worth the extra time to ensure this step. You’ll be glad I mentioned this when your batter isn’t lumpy 🙂
- My cheesecake ended up having a somewhat strong lemon flavor due to the juice and zest you put in. I will probably go a bit easy on this the next time. You want enough to give it that “zing” but not enough so it’s lemon cheesecake. I’ll probably half the lemon ingredients next time.
- When you boil water to go in your roasting pan, make sure you boil a whole kettle’s worth. You’ll need more than you think poured around the pan. For the roasting pan, I had one I used to cook a turkey in and it was perfect. Here’s a similar one, if you are in the market. I think you could use a big disposable aluminum pan as well if you don’t want to buy this. Just make sure it’s wider than your springform pan.
- My biggest regret is that I wish I had baked my cheesecake longer. I think mine needed a good 1 hr 45 to 2 hours. I ended up baking it for 1 hour and 45 minutes and the very middle was still “liquidy”. Ultimately you don’t want it too shiny in the middle. Once you get to that 1 hour and 45 min mark, keep an eye on the look of the top – you’ll notice a difference in the edges. Wait patiently until the middle gets that way too.
- As far as preventing cracks… The picture on this post is what mine looked like right out of the oven, no cracks!! But… The recipe tells you to run a knife along the edges (this was great) and then cover with plastic wrap. DON’T COVER WITH PLASTIC WRAP. I was devastated when I started to put the plastic wrap on and it stuck to the cheesecake. When I pulled it back, it ripped the top, and there I was with a big ‘ole crack after all. I really think if I would’ve just put it straight in the fridge to cool without anything on top, it would’ve been perfect. Oh well, you live and you learn.
That’s it! This recipe was more advanced than our usual recipes on the blog, but it was a really fun “project” to make. If you are looking for something a bit adventurous, look no further. For this reason though, I’m ranking this a 2 out of 5 for our rookie ratings.
That being said, you’ll have to let me know if you try this one! Happy baking!