The secret to making the best cheesecake is…

It’s traditional to eat dairy on Shavuot (Pentecost), so now is the perfect time dig out your very best cheesecake recipe. Dust off that spring-form pan and rev up your food processor. Delicious-ness is straight ahead!

So how do you begin a cheesecake that ends with the compulsion to lick your plate clean?

1. Mix like mad!
This is the most important rule of all. Use a mixer or food processor and blend that batter up until it is silky-satiny-smooth. This is not a quick bread people! Mix, mix and mix some more. When you think it’s mixed enough, scrape down the sides and even across the bottom with a spatula and blend again.

2. Use the best ingredients.
Don’t use low-fat anything and expect a rich cheesecake. And if you’re making a chocolate one, pick up a bar of Godiva chocolate. Don’t throw in the old chocolate chips from the cupboard and end up with cheesecakea mediocre result. If you’re making a cheesecake, go all out!

3. Follow an excellent recipe.
I use the Dorie Greenspan “tall and creamy cheesecake” recipe from her cookbook Baking. It has 2 pounds of cream cheese, 4 eggs and over a cup of heavy cream. Find a recipe that comes from an unmistakably trustworthy source and follow it carefully.

4.Don’t forget the hot tub.
Fine custards are cooked in a hot water bath – think crème brûlée. Great cheesecakes are treated with the same elegant care, resulting in a soft, delicate texture.

Cheesecakes are really not too difficult to make. Just take your time, pay attention to the recipe and follow the tips above. You’re sure to end up with a slice of happiness-albeit temporal-on your plate this Shavuot.

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