Sunday, February 6, 2011

Junior's Famous Cheesecake

This has got to be THE BEST New York Cheesecake that I have ever tasted. It is a clone of the famous Junior's Cheesecake from New York of course! The most important part when making any cheesecake is to make sure the cream cheese, eggs, heavy cream are all at room temperature so they combine smoothly and homogonously. The more subtle the changes in temperature, the less likely your cake is to crack. That's why a water bath helps - because it stabilizes the temperature of the cheesecake.

This is the ultimate pure cheesecake. I'm not exaggerating. Cheesecake lovers, you MUST try this. There's no chocolate marble or strawberry swirl to take the glory away from the ultra-dreamy filling. The top is slightly sweeter from the beautiful caramellization while the inside is smooth and creamy. The only change I made to the original recipe is that I used a graham cracker crust instead of a sponge cake crust.

I will also be including this in my Copycat Club Feb/11 round-up. Please join me - see link above :)

Junior's Original New York Cheesecake
10" Cake | Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook

Sponge Cake Layer
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 large eggs, seperated
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops lemon extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cheesecake Filling
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together ina medium sized bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until mo more white flecks appear then blend in the butter. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry). Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain). Gently spoon the batter into the pan.

Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan.

Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of the cream cheese. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after each one. Blend in heavy cream. At this point mix the filling only until completely blended (just like they do at Junior's) Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the side of the pan.

Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or, if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate.

Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.


Jennifurla said...

My mom sends me a juniors cheesecake every Christmas,,I love this.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

You've convinced me! The interior looks so smooth and lush

scrambledhenfruit said...

I've never had a Junior's cheesecake, but yours really looks tempting. :)