Sometimes the least complex, least complicated recipe is the way to go. A recipe that has just the right amount of ingredients, without going too far. Without being too fussy.
This cheesecake is one of those recipes.
Yes, you’ll have to devote a day (or night) of oven space to this decadent creation, but trust me when I tell you – it will worth every single minute. The prep time is minimal, so keep that factor in mind, NOT the bake time. The unbelievably low baking temperature provides just enough heat to thoroughly bake the cake, while at the same time allow it to remain its utmost creamiest. There’s not a dry bite to be had – nary a crumbly morsel to fall from its sides. The top will stay smooth and only lightly colored – no cracking here that so many bakers dread. No ringed edges.
Only perfectly delicious, incredible cheesecake.
I made this cheesecake for my mom’s birthday.
Because my dad is a purist, I kept it plain. And even though it’s MOMS borthday, she likes keeping dad happy. I know. What a martyr. it’s a struggle, pleasing them both with one recipe, but I think I succeeded, as I really didn’t hear any complaints from any of the birthday party. Plain wouldn’t have been my first choice…but it was a good one.
Which got me to thinking…
What IS plain cheesecake? Vanilla? And why, as a society, do we consider vanilla to be plain? You know you do. Chocolate, strawberry, banana, almond…all flavors. But someone says vanilla, and you think plain. Plain? But is it really? Vanilla is a rich a aromatic elixir. Plus…it goes with everything, practically. It plays well with just about anything you throw at it, without overwhelming it.
Just my two cents.
This recipe, now, you can change it up however you like. If you can’t find mascarpone because you live in the middle of nowhere, you can certainly sub in all cream cheese. If you want to add a flavoring other than vanilla – by all means, do that. Swap out a cookie crust for an Oreo or graham cracker crust. Add toppings, or not. Make it your own. But this base recipe, as written, is your guideline to all future cheesecake successes. Start with it, and continue.
You won’t go wrong.
makes one 9 inch cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
For the cheesecake
- 2 – 8-ounce packages cream cheese , softened
- 16 ounces mascarpone, softened
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil so that it is waterproof.
- For the crust, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl, then pour over the melted butter and combine well with a fork or your fingers. Press into the springform bottom and up the sides, about halfway is fine. Bake on a baking sheet at 350 for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180.
- Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining cream cheese and mascarpone.
- Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar, then beat in the salt and vanilla. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Next, mix in the sour cream and heavy cream. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is very lightly browned, about 6 hours. Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve with any topping, as desired.
As you can see, I gussied up my cheesecake a bit since it was for mom’s birthday. All I did was use a little luster dust in some round molds, and fill them with white and dark chocolates until set. A few piped flourishes finished off my decorations, and I went with it.
What do you think?
I was asked by my friends at Real® Seal (you recognize the logo, for sure!) to create a truly decadent recipe using any Real Seal products. This recipe does just that! Plenty of cream cheese, a little heavy cream, and more are delicious Real® Seal ingredients.
What does the Real Seal mean? Good question. The dairy industry four decades ago created the REAL® Seal. It’s an assurance that you are buying a genuine dairy product, made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms, and meeting strict manufacturing requirements. When you see the REAL® Seal on a dairy product or in a store or restaurant, you can trust it’s the real thing, and not an imitation.
To learn more about what the REAL® Seal means to consumers, what products carry the REAL® Seal, or what using the REAL® Seal can do for business, click on one of the links above. You can also visit the REAL® Seal Facebook page.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Real Seal. All thoughts and opinions are my own.