Hello, crafty and sundry!
There are many foods out there in the world that I have always been a little wary of making. Like, they struck me as too magical for me to sully with my own two hands.
One of those foods is cheesecake. It’s delicious and fancy and I figured it was probably one of the hardest things in the world to make. What can I say — I’m intimidated by egg rolls, and that’s just stuff in a wrapper. So I decided to put the all-call out and gather recipes from my friends, and to start a grand cheesecake-making adventure with the classic Philadelphia™® Cheesecake Recipe. I wanted a baked recipe because, in my head, it seemed like a ‘realer’ cheesecake than one of the no-bake jobs (I’ll find the truth of that out as I go along). I figured, like the Hershey cake, the recipe provided by that brand would be a fairly definitive recipe. Maybe that’s just my growing up American brand loyalty shining through, but one has to start somewhere!
Unfortunately, starting with an American recipe requires some translation. For example, graham crackers aren’t a readily available thing here. However, digestive biscuits work just as well, if not better. And, to my great joy, the 1 1/2 cups required was precisely 10 digestive biscuits! I love me a nice round number, hee hee. I put them in a zip bag and gently beat them with my husband’s gorgeous marble rolling pin, and then rolled them out until they had a suitable consistency.
There’s a few other minor translations as well, but those are mainly in regards to measurement units. My brain has completely shut down on what is what, but I do know it says grams on the packages of cream cheese here, so I went with that.
Crust in situ!
Mixing that up with the eggs, sugar, and vanilla was pretty quick with my lovely mixer, though I will admit mild annoyance that the sugar and egg yolks were trying to cling to the side of the bowl and not mix in — grump. But I mastered it without overmixing it (I think), and popped it into the oven.
Now, there’s a lot I learned from this first effort. For starters, my cheesecake came out of the oven with a large crack, and a bit overcooked. I wasn’t too fussed — this is my first effort, after all, and outside of a bit of eggy taste around the edge, it came out most edible! I did leave it in the oven a few minutes too long, and also, I didn’t put it in a water bath. That would probably account for the crack, the overcooking (water baths help it cook more evenly), and the eggy taste. I also need to remember to let it cool in the oven first, and then on the counter, and then in the fridge. I skipped that first step, which probably contributed to further cracking. I also probably should have used room temperature ingredients too… anyways!
It also came out a bit crumbly, especially in the eggy bits. The rest of it was pretty smooth, and way darn rich. I might have to use a combination of low-fat and full-fat cream cheese next time (or eat smaller slices *cough*). My taste testers (better known as my husband, and my big girl Smallhausen) both have expressed their enjoyment of the cake, with Smallhausen declaring, ‘It’s my favorite. I love it!’ High praise, kiddo. And, I think, I will use it as my go-to recipe until I feel I’ve got the hang of the basics, and then I will work through the recipes my friends have given me.
Now, as said, I had to make some translations to make it work in British, so I figured I’d share that for anyone this side of the pond who wanted to take a whack at this recipe!
Philadelphia™® Classic Cheesecake Recipe
For the crust:
1.5 cups of digestive biscuit crumbs (approximately 10 biscuits)
3 tablespoons of sugar
75 grams of butter or margarine, melted
For the cheesecake:
900 grams of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Heat oven to 163°C.
- Mix biscuit crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
- Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
- Bake 55 min. or until center is almost set. Turn off oven and leave to cool in oven for one hour. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on counter until cold. Refrigerate 4 hours.
As suggested, there’s any number of various tips and tricks one can engage in to make the ‘perfect’ cheesecake. I hope to get there with practice! But thankfully, it’s pretty forgiving and delicious even if you don’t do a perfect job.