With a buttery, crumbly crust and soft yet rich texture, cheesecake is one of the most loved desserts whose decadence is immeasurable.
If you are a FRIENDS show fan like me then there is one dessert that immediately comes in our mind. No, not the disastrous English Trifle by Rachel, but the delicious cheesecake you must have seen in the famous episode- ‘The one with all the cheesecakes.’ In the episode, Chandler finds a cake at the doorstep and just digs in despite knowing whom it belongs to. Then Rachel joins in and they end up eating the cake off the floor. But who can blame them?!
This recipe is inspired by the show and when I imagine what the cheesecake that Rachel and Chandler stole tastes like, it’s as delicious as this one!
All you only need is a few basic ingredients to make this cheesecake- cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, eggs, graham crackers and you are all set.
Why Water Bathing the cheesecake?
We have used the water bathing technique to bake the cake. This technique is very simple, you just need to cover the cake tin with a foil and put it in a baking tray which is filled with boiling water. The cake is then baked the same way in an oven. This method is also a baker’s secret to baking custards or bread puddings.
Water bathing makes a huge difference in the texture of the cake. The cake becomes moist, buttery and prevents from giving it a rubbery texture. It also helps to evenly bake the cake as uneven baking may lead to sinks or cracks in the cake.
Types of Cheesecakes
As cheesecakes require only a few basic ingredients so they are fairly easy to customize. You can add fruits, swirls, chocolates and various sauces to it. The cheese can be customized as well like cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, cottage cheese and the possibilities are endless.
These are some of the most common types of cheesecakes in all their glory-
- No-bake cheesecake
- Japanese “cotton” cheesecake
- Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake
- Blueberry or strawberry cheesecakes
- Key lime cheesecake
- Chocolate or red velvet cheesecake
All of these originate from the delicious classic cheesecake.
Cheesecakes are rich, creamy and have a buttery texture that just melts in your mouth. How can anyone not love these little slices of heaven on a plate? So, do not wait and try this recipe right now!
Also, do not forget to read the tips at the end of the recipe. Bon Appetit!
- FOR CRUST: ½ cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
- 1 and ½ cup Graham Crackers or Digestive Biscuits
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- FOR CHEESE CAKE: 1 cup Castor Sugar
- 900 grams Cream Cheese (approximately 3 cups), softened
- 1 cup granulated Sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
- 3 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour (Maida)
- FOR TOPPINGS- Chocolate Ganache, Salted Caramel, fresh Fruits, Whipped Cream etc.
Making graham cracker crust
- Preheat the oven to 180o
- Using a food processor grind the graham crackers into crumbs. In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar and ½ cup melted butter until combined.
- Take a cake pan and press the biscuit mixture tightly into the pan to make an even base.
- Pre-bake the base for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.
- Allow the crust to cool down a bit and keep it aside.
Making Cream Cheese filling
- In a standing mixer, whisk 900 grams cream cheese and 1 cup granulated sugar until smooth, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the all-purpose flour and mix it in.
- Add 1 cup sour cream, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. lemon zest and mix until combined on medium speed. Do not overbeat the mixture.
- Add the egg yolk and eggs one by one on medium speed, so that they are just blended.
Water Bath for baking
- Take a Baking pan and fill it with boiling water up to 1-inch height.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker crust, wrap aluminum foil around the cake tin and put it in the baking pan. Wrap two layers of heavy duty-foil to prevent leaking.
- Put the baking pan in the oven and bake the cheesecake for about 60-70 minutes.
- Bake the cake until it turns golden from the top with slight wobble when shaken.
- Do the toothpick test by dipping a toothpick in the center of the cake and if the toothpick comes out nice and clean then the cake is ready.
- Once the cake is baked completely, turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly so that the cheese cake cools down completely.
- Once the cake has cooled down, take it out of the tin.
Alternate Baking Method
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker crust and put the cake tin in an oven. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes without the water bath until it turns golden. Let it cool down in the same manner mentioned in water bath technique.
Topping for Cheesecake
On a basic New York style cheesecake, you can get pretty crazy on the toppings.
- Chocolate or salted caramel sauce, chocolate chunks or chocolate chips can be used as toppings.
- Whipped cream or fruits like blueberry, raspberry and strawberry can also be used.
There are a variety of toppings that can be used but you can keep it as plain and delicious New York style cheesecake as well.
- Do not use salted butter in this recipe.
- Cool down the cheesecake completely or it will not set.
- Do not overmix the batter as air will get incorporated in the mixture, making the cakes chewy and gummy.
- Use water bath technique to make the cake moist.
- Use two layers of heavy-duty foil to wrap the cheesecake or it might leak due to water bath and ruin the cake.
“Buttery, crumbly, graham cracker crust with a very rich yet light, cream cheese filling” is how Rachel described it in the show. But make it at your own risk- you might end up making your FRIENDS your enemies- warring for every piece of this delectable dish.