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Ultimate Cheesecake

Ultimate Cheesecake

As promised in the previous post here is the recipe of this ultimate cheesecake, by chef Tyler Florence, which my daughter asked for her 15th birthday. I have baked this cake several times and it never disappoints.It is a perfect cheesecake! The original recipe has a fruity/berry topping but the birthday girl asked for Ferroro Rocher instead. Since she is the one with celiac disease, I used gluten free cookies for the base.

ingredients: ( 8 servings)

for crust:

2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs ( I used gf)

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/3 cup melted butter

for filling:

500 gm cream cheese

3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

150 ml sour cream*

zest of one lemon

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for topping:

cocoa powder for dusting

about 9 Ferroro Rocher, unwrapped


Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 325 F.

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8″springform pan with oil. In a medium mixing bowl mix all crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture into the pan and press evenly into the base of the pan and about 1″ up the sides. Set the pan on a big piece of aluminum foil and tightly fold up the sides around it.Refrigerate.

Prepare the filling by beating cream cheese with an electric beater for a minute. Add eggs, one at a time and beat till well mixed. Gradually add sugar and continue beating for another minute till well incorporated. Add sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla and mix to form an even mixture. Take the crusted pan out of the refrigerator and place in a roasting pan. Now pour the filling into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour boiling water into the roasting pan till the water is about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The foil will prevent water seeping into the cake. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes**. The cake will still be jiggly and will firm up after chilling. Let cool in the pan for 30-40 minutes. Loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours, overnight chilling would be ideal.

When chilled and set, run a metal spatula around the inside rim to loosen from the pan. Sift cocoa powder on the cake to cover the top completely with a thin layer of cocoa powder. Use a long knife to lightly mark and divide the cake into 8 equal portions. Be careful not to cut through, just lightly mark. Place a Ferroro Rocher on each piece and one in the center.  Remove the mold and serve chilled.

Adapted from recipe by Tyler Florence.


*Original recipe calls for 450 ml of sour cream.

**The original recipe says “bake for 45 minutes”. My experience with at least 5 different ovens recommends longer baking time.

Baked cheesecakes will start melting/ get very soft in hot weather. I prefer making them in cooler conditions as we don’t have temperature controlled houses in Pakistan.

I use Philadelphia cream cheese straight from the refrigerator.

It may be difficult to find sour cream everywhere in Pakistan. Use 1/2 cup  THICK dairy cream with a tablespoon of lemon juice instead.

Locally we have thin peel lemons in Pakistan and you can not zest them. Find and use a thick peel, big lemon’s zest from a local grocery store. It will make a lot of difference.

Use caster sugar for easy mixing and crunch free filling.

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