Cheesecake. Need I say more?
I love cheesecake. Growing up, getting to go to The Cheesecake Factory was the most exciting thing because that meant CHEESECAKE. Just wanted to make sure you understand how much i love a New York Cheesecake. Now that that’s settled…
I’ve always been intimidated by making a cheesecake because there are so many mediocre ones out there. Also, it just seemed really really hard. For those of you that have similar fears, don’t worry about it! Making a cheesecake isn’t super difficult, it just requires multiple steps
To start, I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. She did a great job explaining and mentioning some of her trouble shooting. One thing I did differently, was that i used a water bath. If you havent heard of it before, a water bath consists of putting your spring form pan in the center of a large roasting pan and filling it up half way with hot water. The benefit of this is that it adds steam to the oven which helps keep the cheesecake from cracking as well as helping to keep the cake from becoming rubbery.
NOTE: Make sure that you completely cover your spring form pan in foil (I used multiple sheets). If you don’t, you risk having water seep into the bottom of your pan, leaving you with a very gross crust.
Try to beat the mixture as little as possible while still combining all the ingredients well. This will help eliminate air bubbles.
Start your cake off in a 550 degree oven for 10 minutes and then lower to 200 for about an hour, until the cake is slightly jiggly in the middle. Be careful to watch your cake and make sure that the top doesn’t burn. If it starts to brown, try placing a cookie sheet towards the top of your oven and bake slightly longer.
Now, here was my problem. My oven only goes up to 500 degrees so I ended up cooking my cake at 500 for 15 minutes and then at 200 for an hour. At this point, my cake was SUPER jiggly throughout, not just in the center. after cooking for 20 more minutes and still having the same result, I increased the temp to 250 for another 10 minutes. At this point, I was afraid of it being in the oven for way too long so I took it out while it was more firm, but still had a decent amount of movement to it. Once the cake was done, it was INCREDIBLE, but was slightly under cooked in the center still. Next time, I will need to play with the temperature more to get it cook through a little bit more.
Needless to say, this cake is amazing. It’s not too dense and has a slightly citrus taste thanks to the orange and lemon zest.
Add a little powdered sugar and some fruit to make it extra sweet!