Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you’re looking to show off, here is a perfect Thanksgiving classic cheesecake recipe to help you. This step-by-step cheesecake recipe is written to ensure that you are not among those who have to call their mothers for making the dessert. Even worse is the feeling when someone recognizes that you have bought the Thanksgiving dessert from the nearby bakery. Therefore, relax as we bring you the best 2018 Thanksgiving cheesecake recipe that will make you proud.
For a classic cheesecake, you will only need five vital ingredients. These include block cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, flavoring, and eggs. Just five ingredients may sound simple, but it is the right mix of these five elements that distinguish one chef from another chef. For a killer recipe, you must treat these five ingredients as our five senses, meaning that you can’t make a classic cheesecake that does not have an excellent balance of these ingredients. Let’s talk about the basics of these ingredients that every cook should memorize.
How should you prepare for this classic cheesecake?
1. Four 8-ounce block of full-fat cream cheese
When you buy a block of cream cheese, make sure that it is the full-fat cream cheese. There are no excuses for cheese such as low-fat variety or cream cheese spread. If you are not buying full-fat cream cheese, it is better not bake. As for this recipe, four 8-ounce blocks of full-fat cream cheese will form the base of the cake.
2. 1 cup of sugar
For a 32-ounce cheesecake, you should only use 1 cup of sugar. Remember, you can’t opt for a half cup or more than a cup because odd quantities of sugar will either make the cake too sweet or too tangy. Therefore, it is essential to opt for 1 cup of sugar for 32-ounce of full-fat cream.
3. 1 cup of sour cream
For cheesecakes, it is better to use sour cream instead of heavy cream or another variety. One cup of sour cream is perfect for the taste buds because heavy cream and its variants will likely make the cake too creamy and soft. Overall, a classic cheesecake should always be stable and rich in texture, which only sour cream can offer.
4. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
For flavoring, most chefs have always preferred one teaspoon of vanilla extract and two teaspoons of lemon juice. In fact, this is also the original flavoring on the classic cheesecake. If you are not world famous celebrity chef, it is better to leave the flavor as it is, and not try something that can ruin the overall taste.
5. 3 Eggs
You will need three eggs to complete the ingredients. Most seasoned chefs believe that using the correct method to mix the eggs in the batter determines the texture of the cheesecake. Hence, it is highly recommended to beat the eggs to an extent where they are not overly mixed. Just use your intuition to batter eggs to the degree that they are not overmixed. If you try to overmix, the cheesecake will deflate and crack from the edges. Also, it is better to add each egg one after the other in a quick sequence.
How to Prepare the Cheesecake in 4-Steps?
Once you have all the five ingredients, mix them thoroughly. While mixing, you want to make sure that all the ingredients are battered at room temperature. If any one of the parts is cold, the result will be a chunky cheesecake batter, which is not a pretty sight to look at.
Graham Cracker Crust
We all know that it is very easy to get a Graham Cracker Crust from most grocery stores. As for this recipe, it is a good idea to buy the crust from a nearby store as it will save you the hassle of making it yourself. Actually, it is better to keep your focus on baking the classic cheesecake as preparing the crust yourself will likely distract you from the recipe. Likewise, stay away from any flavored Graham Cracker Crust because it will void the idea of making the classic cheesecake.
Once you have the crust, try packing it in a 9 or 10-inch Springform pan. It is practical to use the Springform pan because it has removable sides, which helps to release the cheesecake instead of flipping it safely. As for packing the crust, you can use the bottom of a measuring cup to dab the crust. Just make sure that the crust is equally spread throughout the Springform pan. Afterward, spread the battered mixture evenly on top of the crust.
Cheesecake Water Bath
Most target temperature of cheesecake is 325 degrees, but when you set the oven temperature to 325 degrees, it will not always be the right temperature. So you might like to use a food temperature to prepare for our cheesecake. ThermoPro TP-12 Food Thermometer is a wireless thermometer with dual probe, which may allow us to monitor our cheesecake 300 feet away. When it is done, the internal temperature of the cheesecake should be 150 to 155 degrees.
Nowadays, experts use Water Bath for their cheesecakes. The Water Bath is a simple task where you pour hot water on the sides of the Springform. Before pouring the water, place the Springfoam on a roasting pan. Afterward, pour hot water around the Springform pan, enough to cover the sides of the Springform pan up to one-fourth of its height. This is a simple trick; therefore, do not worry about the temperature of the hot water or the exact height of the water covering the Springform. Just make sure that it is hot water, which covers the base of the Springform.
Cheesecake Water Bath is an excellent method to ensure that the cheesecake will rise slowly and evenly when it is baked. As cheesecakes love the humid environment, pouring hot water around the Springfoam will also prevent the cheesecake from sinking downwards, once it cools off. The end result is an excellent texture without cracks.
Cooling the Cheesecake
After the Water Bath, it’s time to bake the cake for one hour. After turning off the oven, make sure that you do not take out the cheesecake. Instead, open the oven door and let the cheesecake cool down for another hour. One of the main reasons for keeping the cake inside the oven is to control the temperature because any sudden change in the temperature isn’t ideal for the cheesecake.
After the cooling process inside the oven is complete, take out the cheesecake and place it inside the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If you can hold on to your craving, it may be better if you let the cake chill overnight. To top it off, decorate it with a fruit topping, or you can use lemon curd, salted caramel or any other combination of topping.
The recipe is sure to impress even your granny. Just make sure that you remember the basics such as baking the cheesecake with Water Bath and leaving the cheesecake inside the oven after baking. These little tricks will definitely go a long way in making the most delicious cheesecake you’ve ever tasted.