Delicate and airy cheesecake is the perfect sweet for a cup of coffee for breakfast or lunch, which can be found on the menu of coffee houses around the world. Love cottage cheese but are afraid you won’t be able to get the right texture? Don’t worry, there are a few secrets to making it perfect the first time.
Key secrets for the perfect cheesecake
The main advantage of homemade cheesecake is that you do not have to prepare the dough. Of course, you can make it from scratch, but broken crumbs from dry cookies (Anniversary, Baked Milk, and the like) will be no worse.
How to prepare the dough:
- Put the cookies in a tight bag and seal them well.
- Cover with a towel.
- We beat with a rolling pin until small crumbs form. You can also grind cookies in a blender or food processor.
- Add melted butter, and mix until smooth.
The mixture should be moist but not runny and hold its shape well. And that’s it, the base for the cheesecake is ready.
Now you need a detachable form. Line the bottom and sides with baking parchment, and then lay out the cookie base, forming high sides or making a flat bottom with no walls.
There are two options for preparing the base:
- Put in the refrigerator and cool. The mixture will set well and become a reliable basis for the cream.
- Bake the mixture for 10 minutes in an oven at 200°C. The still-warm base can be trimmed and then allowed to cool.
If you are going to bake the base but are unsure about your oven or shape, melt some butter and grease the parchment. So the cheese won’t stick. Although this is not necessary for cookie dough: it already contains butter.
It’s time to start the main thing – a delicate layer of filling.
The classic cheesecake cream is made with cream cheese. It is quite expensive, you need a lot of it, so cheese is often replaced with cottage cheese. But not every kind will do!
For a good cream, you need fatty cottage cheese in large grains. We do not recommend taking homemade, as it can give an excessively sour taste.
The most economical option is to make half-cheese from sour cream, removing whey from it through cheesecloth. However, this is no longer an easy recipe, as the whole process will take about ten hours.
Many housewives use a half mixture, adding sour cream to the cottage cheese. It really does work out cheaper. Some people like cheese with milk, which also makes the dish cheaper, but tastes more like a classic cottage cheese casserole.
Beat cottage cheese in a blender until creamy. The process takes about 4 minutes. If there are grains left, you need to wipe the mass through a fine sieve. Then add cream to the cream and beat again. Next, add three eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar, or any other additives. Whisk again.
During the last whipping, try not to “drive” air into the cream. Keep the working element in the liquid, lifting it to the surface as little as possible.
When the cream is ready, put it on the cookie base. To release excess air, tap the baking dish on the table.
You need to bake homemade cheesecake for about 50 minutes at a temperature of 170 ° C without opening the oven.
If your cheesecake is browned after baking, prepare the sour cream layer. Beat it with sugar and spread on top, smoothing with a spoon. Place the cheesecake in the oven at 200°C for 7 minutes. Then the finished dessert needs to cool completely.
Wet or dry knife?
Professionals advise cutting the cheesecake with a slightly heated dry knife. Such a blade will not disturb the texture of the delicate layer and will easily cut through the biscuit base. Of course, we take the sharpest knife in the kitchen to cut pieces with perfectly even edges.
No-bake cheesecake recipe
Don’t want to mess with the oven? Then use gelling agents: gelatin or agar-agar. The latter does not need to be soaked, it hardens quickly even at room temperature, but it needs to be worked with quickly.
If you chose sheet gelatin, add the swollen plates to the cream, mix well in a blender, and pour the mixture into a mold. The dessert will harden in the refrigerator for about 6 hours. Such a long time is necessary for stabilization. If, when touched, the cream is elastic and no dents remain on it, then it is ready.
Unusual cheeses: ideas for original desserts
Sometimes classic desserts get boring, so we offer several options that will help diversify the taste of your cheesecake.
To prepare it, add chocolate to the cream base. Yes, everything is simple, but only at first glance. Take only high-quality dark chocolate, which can be melted in a water bath or in the microwave. Melt little by little, and if the chocolate does not melt well, add a little melted butter.
The recipe is suitable for cheese with or without pastries.
This is a no-bake version of the cheesecake, so there must be a gelling agent in the cream.
For dessert, use any seasonal fruits or berries. For example, cherries and raspberries. Remove the stones from the cherries, pour the berries into a saucepan, and add a little water and sugar. Cook the mixture over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Wait for the berry sauce to thicken. Remove from heat and pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the raspberry pits. Cool down.
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Divide the cheese cream into three parts, two of which add a different amount of berry sauce to get a different color. Pour the mixture into the mold in layers, allowing each to harden for about 15-20 minutes. Pour the darkest layer first, then the lighter one, and last the white cream.
Quite an unusual combination, but many people like it. Add a little flour and banana puree to the creamy mass. If the bananas are overripe, you can grind them with a fork, or smash them in a blender. Then we act as usual: spread the cream on the dough, bake, let it cool, and infuse.
Here are some simple cheese dessert recipes. As you can see, the choice of ingredients, techniques, and toppings is huge, so you can make a cheesecake to your liking. Bon appetit!
Q: What kind of cheese should I use for cheesecake?
A: It’s best to use full-fat cream cheese that comes in a brick shape. Avoid using low-fat or whipped cream cheese because it can change how the cheesecake tastes and feels.
Q: Can I use a different crust for my cheesecake?
A: Yes, you can try different crusts like graham cracker crust or Oreo crust. You can even make a crust using nuts. Just follow a recipe that tells you how to make the crust you want.
Q: How can I stop my cheesecake from cracking?
A: To prevent cracking, don’t mix the batter too much, and avoid baking it for too long. You can also try using a water bath by putting the pan with the cheesecake into a bigger pan filled with hot water. The water helps the cheesecake cook evenly and gently.
Q: Can I make a cheesecake without using eggs?
A: Yes, you can make an eggless cheesecake. There are special recipes that don’t use eggs. Instead, they use things like silken tofu or cream cheese substitutes.
Q: How long should I wait for the cheesecake to cool before putting it in the fridge?
A: After baking, let the cheesecake cool on the counter for about an hour. Then, put it in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours, or even better, overnight. This helps the cheesecake set properly and makes it taste better.
Q: Can I freeze cheesecake?
A: Yes, you can freeze cheesecake. Wrap the cooled cheesecake (without any toppings) tightly in plastic wrap and put it in a container with a lid. Frozen cheesecake can stay good for 2-3 months. When you want to eat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Q: Can I add flavors or toppings to my cheesecake?
A: Of course! You can add different flavors to the cheesecake, like vanilla extract, lemon zest, or cocoa powder, to make it taste special. You can also put toppings on it, like fruit, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or caramel sauce to make it look and taste even better.
Q: How long can cheesecake stay fresh?
A: If you keep the cheesecake covered and in the fridge, it can stay fresh for about 4-5 days. Make sure to cover it well so it doesn’t dry out or take on any smells from the fridge.