Everyone needs one good reliable cheesecake recipe. This is it.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, or chocolate wafer crumbs
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 250-g pkgs cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Make the crust by stirring together the crumbs, sugar and butter. Dump into a 10 in .(25 cm) greased springform pan and press firmly onto the bottom (not up the sides). Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla and the sugar, then pour into the pre-baked crumb crust. Slam the pan down onto the counter a couple of times to eliminate any bubbles.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake will still be quite moist in the middle. That's fine - it will set as it cools. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When the cake is completely cool, the top may be uneven. Since you will probably cover the cake with a glaze or fruit topping, this is not a problem. So just ignore it.
Spread the topping (see below) evenly over the cake, or leave it plain if you prefer. Chill the cheesecake for several hours or overnight before removing the sides of the pan.
Over-the-Top Toppings Chocolate Ganache Glaze In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine 6 squares (1 oz/28 g each) semi-sweet chocolate, broken into chunks, and - cup (50 mL) whipping cream. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for another 10 to 15 seconds, and stir until completely smooth. Immediately pour evenly over the baked cheesecake, spreading to cover the top evenly - then leave it alone to chill in peace. Fresh Fruit Topping Arrange whole fresh berries or sliced fresh fruit (any kind) over the entire surface of the baked cheesecake. Heat 1 cup (250 mL) strawberry or apple jelly just until liquidy, and spoon over the fruit as a glaze. Chill until the glaze sets. Sour Cream Topping Stir together 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream, 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla together in a small bowl. Spread over the top of the cheesecake as soon as it comes out of the oven, then return it to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool and chill.
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