As you know, I have a list of ten things I want to learn to cook before I’m forty, and cheesecake was on of the things on the list.
So, when Biscoff emailed me offering a package of cookies, the cheesecake immediately came to mind. These cookies give the crust a little something more than graham crackers do…and it makes me want to experiment more with different crusts.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
- 20 Biscoff cookies
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Pinch salt
- 5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted
- 2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)
Special equipment needed
- 9-inch, 2 3/4-inch high spring-form pan
- Heavy-duty, 18-inch wide aluminum foil
- A large, high-sided roasting pan
- Prepare the spring-form pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking.* Place a large 18-inch by 18-inch square of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the spring-form pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don’t create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to stir in the melted butter.
- Put all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the spring-form pan. (Save the remaining 1/4 cup for if you happen to have any holes that need to be filled in, either while you are making the crust, or after the cake has cooked and you’ve unmolded it.) Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan, with maybe just a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan. Be careful as you do this, as not to tear the aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer that paddle attachment has failed to incorporate.
- Place the foil-wrapped spring-form pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the spring-form pan, over the graham cracker bottom layer. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan with the spring-form pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the spring-form pan, about 1 1/4 inches. (Alternatively you can add the water before putting the pan in the oven, whichever is easier for you.) Cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.
- Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn’t actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.