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For the second day of New York cuisine, I have the popular New York cheesecake. And I made the Junior’s version of the cake!! If you haven’t tasted it, you should try Junior’s cheesecake next time you are in New York city. It is one of the best cheesecakes in town. After I decided on this theme, I wanted to eat the cake again to compare if the recipe I followed is indeed the original NY cheesecake. Though I was in Times Square area a few times in the last few days, I completely forgot about the cheesecake.
Coming to the recipe, as I mentioned earlier I chose the Junior’s version of the recipe. This cheesecake recipe has two steps; bake the crust and then the cake. There was another recipe I shortlisted that uses graham crackers crust but I was fixed on it. Regardless of the recipe, cheesecake needs to be baked for at least an hour. If planning on baking a cheesecake, plan ahead and give yourself at least 7-8 hours of time before it can be served. The baking time is about 1 ½ hours, 2 hours of cooling time and at least 4-6 hours of refrigeration time. Keeping this in mind, plan accordingly. I would recommend baking the cake a day before for best result or at least in the morning if planning on serving it for dinner.
The recipe I followed was for a 9” cake and I didn’t have the heart to bake the full recipe for just the two of us, as this recipe is rich and loaded with calories. I considered making the full recipe and baking it in 4 mini cake pans. I was unsure if 9” cake recipe would fit in 4 mini cake pans. The idea was to eat one or two mini cakes and freeze the rest for later. Then I changed my mind when I saw this springform pan and someone reviewed that this 6” pan was ideal for ½ of a 9” cake. I ordered the pan and made half the recipe. I just needed an excuse to buy another baking pan 🙂 I am glad I did as this pan was the perfect size for the two of us. We ate this cake for two days and we loved the cake.
Since I scaled down the recipe to ½, it was a bit challenging beating 1 egg yolk for the sponge cake crust. That was one time I wished I used a graham cracker crust instead of a sponge cake crust. I was afraid how the crust would turn out but it came out ok. The crust rose well but once the crust cooled, the crust shrunk in size; both in height and diameter. Though the crust shrunk in diameter, I went ahead with the bake. I baked the cake for 1 ¼ hours. The top of the cake was dark golden brown and was afraid I might have burnt the top. Though it wasn’t burnt, next time I will check from 1 hour mark. Just like the crust, this cake shrunk once removed from the oven. Regardless, the taste was awesome!! The above three photos were taken on the day I baked the cake and the below picture couple of days later.
Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes + 2 hours cooling + at least 6 hours of refrigeration
Baking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cake Size: 6” cake
Serves: 4 – 6
- 6″ x 2 ¾” springform pan
- Wide shallow dish for the water bath
- Baking tray to place the water bath in (opt.)
- Handheld mixer or stand mixer
Note: Though the recipe is long, time consuming and has two steps, it is not a cumbersome bake. It is worth all the effort!! This cheese cake has two steps. First bake the sponge cake crust and then the cheesecake. Hence I will first list the ingredients and preparation of the crust, followed by the ingredients and preparation of the cake. This cake is time consuming, hence plan ahead. For better result, bake the cake a day before it is served.
- Unsalted Butter, to butter the pan
- ⅙ cup or 3 tbsp. Cake Flour, sifted
- ⅜ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/16 tsp. Salt (less than a pinch)
- 1 Extra-Large Egg, separated
- ⅙ cup or 3 tbsp. Sugar
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 drop Lemon Extract
- 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
- ⅛ tsp. Cream of Tartar
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Generously butter the bottom and side of a 6” springform pan. I used a 6” pan with 2 ¾” height.
- Wrap the outside of pan with with an aluminum foil; cover both the bottom and sides of the pan. This is important as the cheesecake will be baked in a water bath. I did not put the foil when baking the crust and when was ready to bake the cheesecake, I realized why I need to wrap the pan.
- In a bowl sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
- Break the egg, separate the yolk and the white.
- Take yolk in a large bowl and beat the yolk on high speed for about 3 minutes. I used my handheld electric mixer.
- Add 1 tbsp of sugar and continue beating until thick yellow ribbons are formed, about 5 minutes.
- Add the extracts and mix.
- Using a wooden spoon or, the fold mode or the lowest setting of the hand mixer, stir in the flour. Do not over mix, the flour should be just blended in.
- Blend in melted butter and keep the dough aside.
- Wash the beaters and wipe. Or use another set of beaters.
- In another bowl using clean beaters, beat egg white and cream of tartar on high until frothy.
- Gradually add remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. When the beater is held up, white peaks should stand up and look glossy.
- Fold ⅓ of the beaten egg white into the crust batter and then fold in the remaining egg white.
- Gently spread the batter in the greased pan and bake for about 10 minutes, just until set and golden. The cake/crust should spring back when gently touched.
- Remove the pan from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool.
- Keep the oven on.
- 2 8-oz packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, full cheese recommended and at room temperature. I left it out for 15 minutes but longer would be ideal.
- ⅚ or (½ + ⅓ ) cups Sugar
- 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
- ½ tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Extra-Large Egg
- ⅜ cups or 6 tbsp. Heavy Whipping Cream
- Once the crust is baked, keep the oven on at 350F.
- In a large bowl, beat ½ package of cream cheese with 3 tbsp of sugar and cornstarch, on low setting until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer or if the hand mixer has a paddle attachment, use it.
- Add in the remaining cream cheese, ½ package at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, followed by vanilla.
- Blend in the egg (if making twice this recipe, that is a 9” cake, then one egg at a time beating well after each addition).
- Add heavy cream and beat until just blended in. The filling should look light, creamy and airy. Do not over mix.
- Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
- Take a large shallow pan with hot water that comes ½ way up the side of the springform pan, about 1 – 1 ½”. Place the springform pan in the water bath. Just for convenience I placed this water bath pan in a baking sheet.
- Bake on a middle rack in the preheated oven for about 1 ¼ hours, until the edge is light golden brown, the top is light gold and the center barely jiggles. If the cake feels soft, bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to cooling rack and let cool for 2 hours.
- Cover the pan with a saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
- Release the side of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place the cake on a serving plate, refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Slice the cake with a sharp knife, rinsing the knife with warm water between slices.
- Refrigerate the leftover cake in a tightly covered container for up to 2 days or freeze for a month.