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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Best Cheesecake You'll Ever Eat: Junior's New York Style Cheesecake


I know this looks like a complicated, time-consuming, stay-up-forever kind of recipe, but seriously, it is so worth it. This cheesecake {and it's variations} is the best. I mean it--if you like cheesecake and you think you've had "the best", think again. This is the best cheesecake you will ever eat. If I lived near you, I would make you one just to prove how utterly delicious it is.

I give you: Junior's New York Style Cheesecake


I made this for Easter dinner and garnished with fresh raspberries {actually, they were frozen which thawed as we ate} and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Scrumptious! I've also made a white chocolate raspberry and Cappuccino {recipes to come}. So much fun to make and eat!


Thin Sponge Cake Layer
{One 9-inch Sponge Cake Layer}

1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 extra-large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.

2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes.

4. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more.

5.Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

6. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear.

7.Then blend in the butter.

8. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy.

9. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry).

10. Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain).

11. Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!).

12. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan. Leave the oven on.

Cream Cheese Filling

(4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (regular, no low fat phony's) at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the Cheesecake Filling

1. Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl.

2. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.

3. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese--one at a time and scrape bowl in between.

4. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla.

5.Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one.

6.Blend in the heavy cream. {I like to blend it by hand}. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.

7. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer.

8. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.

9. Bake the cheescake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

10. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

11. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

12. Bon Appetit!


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