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Heavenly Cheesecake

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The lightest, fluffiest cheesecake recipe ever!
(From Foods of Our Lives)

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Ingredients

  • For Crust:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • melted
  • 2 cups graham crackers
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • For Filling:
  • 2 pounds bar cream cheese
  • room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • separated
  • ½ cup sour cream

Details

Servings 16
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 50mins
Cooking time 75mins
Cost Average budget

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and salt, to combine. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan.

Step 2

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth scraping down side of bowl, add vanilla. Beat in sour cream, egg yolks and salt.

Step 3

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour onto the crust.

Step 4

Bake until just set in center, about one hour and 15 minutes. The middle will still be jiggly but the top will be set. Leave in oven with the door closed to cool for about an hour then remove and let cool to room temp.
Cover; chill overnight before serving.

Crust variations - substitute chocolate wafer cookies, nuts, Oreos, or gingersnaps for some or all of the crust.

Flavor variations:
Chocolate: add ½ tsp cocoa (dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water) and 6 ounces melted semisweet chocolate to batter. For chocolate espresso, add 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in ¼ cup hot water.
Lemon - add 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsp. grated lemon zest. Delicious with a raspberry jam swirl (drop spoonfuls of jam over the top of finished cheesecake and swirl in with a knife).
Bailey's Chocolate Chip - substitute 1 cup Bailey's for sour cream and fold in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips with the egg whites.
Pumpkin - add 1¼ cups solid-packed pumpkin, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon ground ginger for pumpkin cheesecake. Will make slightly more than one cheesecake. Excellent with a gingersnap crust!
Chocolate swirl - separate batter, pouring half into prepared pan and add 6 ounces of melted chocolate to the other half. Mix well. Spoon over cheesecake in pan and cut through with a knife to create a swirled effect.

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Chef Tips and Tricks

VIDEO: Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

This no-bake dessert is so quick, so easy, and oh so delicious!

 

Ingredients

  • 12 strawberries
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup powedered sugar
  • 4 small graham crackers

 

Method

  1. Hull the strawberries.
  2. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar.
  3. Fill each strawberry with the cheesecake filling.
  4. Smash the graham crackers and sprinkle on top.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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