Cheesecake is one of those desserts that in essence is so, so simple, but in practice is hard to execute perfectly. Burnt tops, wiggly underdone middles, sides that are stuck to the pan, tangy in the wrong ways... Don't worry, we've all been there. But for anyone looking to make their first cheesecake or someone just looking to kick their favorite recipe up a notch, here are my tips for a picturesque perfect cheesecake!
-Use a graham cracker and vanilla wafer crust, makes for a subtle holiday twist!
-Add some vanilla bean, just because it'll make you feel fancy. (Or some vanilla bean paste, like this)
-Add a teaspoon of lemon zest, which gives the cheesecake an distinctly delicious tang that is the hallmark of a classic cheesecake.
-Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to prevent your cheesecake from cracking on the top, so no need for a water-bath!
-Make sure you use a spring-form pan- no if's, and's, or but's about it. Don't fool yourself into thinking that a regular cake pan will work, because it will not- take my word for it.
-In addition, make sure it's the right size- cheesecake filling spilling over the side of your pan is not a fun clean up.
-Bake at a lower temp for a longer period of time (helps the cheesecake bake evenly, and also prevents cracking).
-When you get it out of the oven, let your cheesecake set for 20 minutes before removing the outside of your spring form pan
-Chill it. You went through ALL this trouble to make a bomb cheesecake, don't mess it up by being impatient!
So if you are looking for a dessert to wow at a holiday party, put cheesecake at the top of your list!