Rating: 5 stars
123 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 107
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Make this creamy, decadent dessert, then add zest with new flavors.

Recipe Summary

cook:
1 hr 10 mins
additional:
3 hrs
total:
4 hrs 35 mins
prep:
25 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 cheesecake
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Brush interior of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Add crumbs of choice and tilt pan in all directions to evenly coat, or line pan sides with ladyfingers. Tear off two long strips of heavy-duty foil, overlap in a cross pattern, and set the pan in the middle. Bring up sides, crimping around exterior top of the pan and forming a tight seal. Set it in a roasting pan large enough to hold it.

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  • Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down bowl sides and beat again until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition to ensure a creamy batter. Slowly beat in vanilla, then cream and sour cream. (Meanwhile, bring tea kettle of water to a boil, then turn off heat.)

  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Set the roasting pan on oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until cake perimeter is set but center still jiggles, about 40 minutes (some flavor variations will take longer). Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar; let cheesecake sit in oven so the residual heat continues to cook it, about 30 minutes.

  • Remove pan from water; set on a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 3 hours (can be refrigerated up to 4 days). Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan, loosen the spring siding and serve.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, brushing 1 3-ounce package (or 24 in a package) soft ladyfingers with a mixture of 6 Tbs. strong coffee and 2 Tbs. rum. Line pan sides with ladyfingers (trimmed to fit). Stir 3 Tbs. espresso powder into the batter. When ready to serve, shave a 4-ounce bar of semi- or bittersweet chocolate with a vegetable peeler onto the cheesecake.

Snickers Cheesecake with Peanut Topping

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers or graham cracker crumbs for the crust and folding 9 fun-size Snickers bars, each cut into 8 pieces, into the cheesecake batter. When ready to serve, sprinkle cheesecake perimeter with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, roasted (unsalted) peanuts.

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust and stirring 4 tsps. finely grated orange zest and 1/2 cup of orange marmalade into the cheesecake batter. While cheesecake is cooling on the cooling rack, slip a piece of wax paper or foil under the rack to catch drips. Microwave 1/2 cup heavy cream and 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl until cream is hot enough to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Whisk to make a smooth glaze. Pour over warm cheesecake, continue to cool cake, then refrigerate as directed.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Simmer 1 29-ounce can of 100% pure pumpkin along with 2 tsps. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. each ground nutmeg and allspice in a 10-inch skillet, stirring often, until the puree starts to stick to the pan's bottom, about 8 minutes. Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake using gingersnaps for the crust, dark brown sugar for granulated and adding 1 additional large egg to the batter. Gradually beat the warm pumpkin into the batter. Increase baking time 5 to 10 minutes.

Reese's Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust and folding in 8 regular-size Reese's peanut butter cups, cut into sixths, into prepared pan of batter. When ready to serve, garnish cooled cake perimeter with 3 quartered peanut butter cups.

Lemon Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake using ladyfingers for the crust and stirring 4 tsps. finely grated lemon zest into the cake batter. Spread 1/2 cup of a good brand of lemon curd (sold in jars near the jams and jellies) evenly over the top of the cooked, cooled cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust. Pour a third of the filling into the pan. Slice off 8 cookies' worth of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, then break it into smaller chunks and distribute it evenly over the batter. Top with remaining batter.

Apple Spice Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, using ladyfingers or graham cracker crumbs for the crust and stirring 2 tsps. ground cinnamon into the cheesecake batter. Top cooled cheesecake with 1 20-ounce can of apple pie filling spiced with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1 Tb. brown sugar. Or, look for Comstock brand apple pie filling: The apples are tender, sweet and already cinnamon-spiced, so you won't need the spice and sugar additions as suggested above.

Rocky Road Cheesecake

Follow Master Recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers and folding 3/4 cup mini marshmallows and 1 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate into the batter. Garnish the cooled cake with 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and a 4-ounce bar of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate shaved with a vegetable peeler.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Follow recipe for Rich and Creamy Cheesecake, using ground Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust and dropping 1/2 cup hot fudge sauce, 1/2 Tb. at a time, into prepared pan of batter. Top cooled cheesecake with 1 20-ounce can of cherry pie filling.

Copyright 2006 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Nutrition Facts

347 calories; protein 6.9g; carbohydrates 23.9g; fat 25.3g; cholesterol 135mg; sodium 212.9mg. Full Nutrition
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