Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vanilla Cheesecake

After I made the truffles last week I started to think about what would be fun to make this week.  I narrowed it down to pie or cheesecake.  I took a family vote and cheesecake won.  Even my little feline made his feelings about wanting cheesecake known.
Staring at a picture of cheesecake, hoping for a little taste.

So, cheesecake it was.  I have never tackled anything soufflé like before so was a  little nervous that the cheesecake would not make it to the table. (I have a tendency to want to throw out desserts if they are not perfect)  Luckily my mom and the boy were close by to make sure nothing happened to it.  

I used the vanilla cheesecake recipe from my William-Sonoma Desserts book. I am absolutely in love with this book, everything I have made from it has been fairly simple with amazing and delicious results.

Ingredients for the Crust:
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup unsalted, melted butter

Ingredients for the Filling:
4 Packages cream cheese at room temp.
2 Tbsp plain flour
1/4 Tsp salt
1 1/4 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup sour cream
1Tbsp vanilla extract
3 Large eggs

Start by making the crust.  Preheat the oven to 400*F and lightly grease a 9in spring-form pan.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.  Stir so that all the crumbs get evenly moist.  Pour into the spring-form pan and press evenly onto the bottom and up the sides.  Bake the crust until lightly golden - about 10min - then set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling

I was using a 10in pan so the crust didn't go all the way up the sides, but it held together wonderfully.
To make the filling, lower the oven temp to 300*F.  Combine the cream cheese, flour, and salt using a mixer on med-high speed.  Beat until it is very smooth, this may require you to stop frequently to scrap down the sides.  Next, add the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla and again beat until well blended.  Finally, add the eggs one at a time being sure to beat well after every addition.
The filling is very light.
Pour the filling into the crust.  Bake the cake for about 60-70min.  You want the filling to be set but have the center still jiggle slightly as well as the edges slightly puffed.  When finished baking, turn off the oven and leave the door open if you can so that the cake cools slowly to prevent a collapse.  After 10 minutes or so remove the cake from the oven and let sit until it reaches room temperature.  Once it reaches room temp, cover and refrigerate until well chilled-overnight it best.

The center didn't collapse!

The crust held up fairly well too.

Making this cheesecake provided me with many laughs.  First, while making this cake I was singing along to the Broadway show "Wicked" and dancing in the kitchen while taking pictures of food.  I used to poke fun at my mother for taking pictures of food, I had thought it was rather odd, and here I was taking pictures.  I also remember her and her sister singing and dancing while cooking a dinner sometime last year.  It then dawned on me that I am turning into my mother.  I knew it would happen eventually but it is still slightly scary.

After that, my dad came home and was devastated that he would have to wait an entire 24 hours until he could eat the cake.  Then, just to add insult to injury, the boy (who dubbed himself "The Duke of Deliciousness") and myself made a second cake that day for his brother's birthday on Tuesday.  My dad could not believe there were two good looking cakes in the house that he was not allowed to eat.  

Finally, Tuesday night at 9pm rolled around and the cake was ready to be served.

 After one taste of the cake there were no hard feelings for having to wait to taste the cheesecake.  It was very creamy and got eaten promptly.  It has been a nice treat and my own little "reward" for making it through the first couple days of a new job. 

Finally, I would like to give a huge "Thank You!" to Kristy@My Little Space for giving me this wonderful award.

I am very appreciative that she was thoughtful enough to think of me and my new blog.  Because I am so new I am going to hold onto this award and pass it on later!  


  1. Hi Kirsten,

    Just drop by your blog to say hello. What a lovely blog you have ! And your cheesecake looks awesome! I got the award from Kristy too. Hopefully we will learn more from her and each other during our journey in foodblogging!!


  2. If I buy the ingredients, will you make it tonight?

  3. Oreo Truffles and now Vanilla Cheesecake...the Boy is lucky!

  4. Great recipe Kirsten! Is this your first time baking a cheesecake?

  5. Looks like you not only tackled it, you nailed it. This is a work of art. A thing of beauty. One perfect thing. I'm here because "My Little Space" sent me. Glad she did


  6. Voila! A cheesecake is born! Looks so delicious, nothing like a good cheesecake. Love how your listen to good tunes while cooking, me too... keeps me happy! Nice job and the photo of kitty is super cute!

  7. You deserved it, Kirsten! So, you need to work a little bit harder for more. Btw, your cheesecake looks fantastc. Can I have a slice.... or two.. or more...? haha... Enjoy your weekend.
    Cheers, kristy

  8. Your cheesecake look excellent, yum!

  9. That looks creamy, I just love cheesecake :) And congratulations on your award :)

  10. @Claudia-You buy the ingredients and guarantee me that you will fend off the hounds when they want to eat it right away and we have a deal!

    @Wanda - What can I say? I may spoil him a little...:)

    @The Sudden Cook- Yes, this is my first time making one, I am very pleased with the results!

    And thank you to everyone for the lovely comments!

  11. Oh my, I love cheesecake! I have a "New York Cheesecake" recipe that I always use. It is very similar to the WS one you used, but uses 4 eggs and no sour cream. Sometimes I use almond flavoring or lemon zest instead of vanilla. All good! :)