The other day I posted pictures of the buffet I set out for Saturday night's poker party. I received an e-mail asking how I got my cheesecake to look so pretty, and I thought I'd share the answer with all of you.
I drop in some more plain batter,
So here's my recipe for a classic cheesecake that you can dress up any number of ways, now that you know how to swirl it up. Start with all your ingredients at room temperature. Set the cream cheese and eggs out the night before.
3 - 8oz blocks of cream cheese
1 - 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
cookies or graham crackers for the crust
6 tbsps of melted butter
Prepare your springform pan by buttering it, lining with parchment paper, and buttering the paper. Put your cookies in a baggie, and crush them with a rolling pin. It takes 1 sleeve of graham crackers, or 1 small pkg of cookies to make about 1 1/2 cups of cookie crumbs. I used a tray of white chocolate chip cookies that I forgot were in the oven and were too crispy for the cookie jar. Add the melted butter to the baggie, smoosh it around, and press the moistened crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.
In your stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth light and fluffy, if you don't have a scraper beater, scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk until thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until the previous one is incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla. For a classic cheesecake pour the batter in the crust. For a swirled one divide at this point.
This is the baking trick on how to keep your cheesecake from cracking. It's temperature fluctuations that cause cracking, so the traditional method is to use a bain marie - a water bath. I don't, because moving around that much hot water without sloshing is a PITA. Here's how I do it. I preheat my oven to 425. The cheesecake goes in the oven for 12 minutes before I decrease the temp to 225 without opening the oven door. After an hour, I turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in there without opening the oven door. After another hour in the turned off oven, I remove the cheesecake to the counter to cool completely before placing it in the frig for 6 hrs. So the easy trick to an uncracked cheesecake is Do Not Open the Oven Door.
Thanks for popping in and baking with me. I'm linking this up to A Southern Fairytale's Mouthwatering Monday, All the Small Stuff's Tuesdays at the Table, and Bargain Hoot's Eats & Treats Thursday.