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Ultimate Cheese Cake Experience… or, Does this cheese cake make my ass look big? (Yes)

June 8, 2009

Game Night.

Cheesecake won.

And it was good.

I’m willing to lie to you. That’s my gift to you. I’m totally happy to just say, screw it – yeah this cheesecake is healthy. There’s fruit on it, isn’t there?

But how’s about instead of you being selfish and making me lie, we just look each other in the eye and agree to never, ever talk about the calories that this cheesecake may or may not contain. Agreed?

This is good cake. It takes a frickin’ long ass time to bake, but that’s all reactive time. And unless you’re someone that goes out to El Vez until 11p on a Thursday night and then gets home to start the process of putting together a cake with 3+ hours of reactive baking time (and we don’t know anyone that damn stupid, right?)*, then it’s really a pretty easy-to-make-delicious-then-prettified kind of cheesecake.

*Don’t judge me.

Ultimate Cheese Cake Experience

a loving interpritation of Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

The Crust
2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs – but I can’t think of any delicious cookie that wouldn’t work, so um, mix it up!
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

The Cheesecake
24 oz cream cheese (3 sticks), room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp Amaretto

Also need: airtight springform pan, light grease for bottom of the pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

Grease just the bottom of your springform pan (don’t grease the sides unless you like the taste of Crisco).

Food process your cookies (or mash up really well) that you’ve chosen for your crust. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of your preferred, pre-greased pan.

Set crust aside.

In a large bowl, combine room-temperature cream cheese and sugar and using mixer, cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next.
Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. This is where it’s a big deal that you’re cheesecake pan is airtight. You could cover the bottom of a not airtight pan securely with foil before adding water, but that’s a bit more risky then I’d like considering how much you’ll be moving this pan around.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center, which you should be able to see when you’re pulling the rack in and out to check.

Muy importanto: You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top.

After one hour remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter for another 30-45 minutes, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve. Or decorate – I used strawberries and chocolate chips this time around, but go with whatever you’re up for trying (also a good way to compensate for any air bubbles or cracks that may – unfortunately – pop up).

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