Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A German Inspired Cheesecake

A German Inspired Cheesecake

Did you ever see a photo or read a recipe for something that made you instantly know you will make that? That's how I felt when I saw Sofie, The German Foodie's blog post for German Cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake! If it were appropriate to do so, I would list it under interests on my resume. I don't make it often because it's a calorie catastrophe but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

A German Inspired Cheesecake
My favorite cheesecake recipe is my own (boy that sounded egotistical) but, for what it's worth, it's my mother's recipe. Her creamy cheesecake probably topped the list of my favorite foods and I learned how to make it myself many years ago. The first time I made it for Brian he was hooked and now says no other cheesecake can compare. Despite all that, at a steakhouse somewhere on a business trip, I once tasted a cheesecake baked inside a short crust and it was so good that I've thought about it many times over the years. When I saw Sofie's photo, I instantly flashed back to it.

A German Inspired Cheesecake
My opportunity to try the recipe came this past Sunday when Brian and I slept late, had no plans and weren't particularly motivated to start our day. We were motivated, however, to eat something sweet but the cupboards were bare. I looked up Sofie's recipe, checked the kitchen for ingredients and found that I had most of what I needed with only slight improvisation required. I actually had a couple of questions and quickly emailed Sofie who provided direction.

A German Inspired Cheesecake
Since Brian and I were moving kind of slow it took a while to make this cake, what with breaks for naps, playing with the dog and snuggling in front of the TV. By the time I took it out of the oven it was past 3:30 and we hadn't eaten much all day. The cake needed to cool so we forced ourselves into sweats, grabbed the dog's leash and headed to our favorite local outdoor cafe for a meal on what was actually a lovely warm day. Back home a couple of hours later, we settled into bed with glasses of milk and hunks of the delicious cake. What a nice Sunday. Enjoy!





Ingredients
For the Crust:
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Sticks unsalted butter, chilled
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt

In a stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the egg and continue mixing until it forms a dough ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
3 Cups ricotta cheese (I only had part-skim and Sofie said that was fine)
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/4 Teaspoon salt
4 Large eggs (I used 3 jumbo eggs)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 Cup all purpose flour (recipe calls for part flour and part corn starch but I didn't have the latter)

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add the butter and than the flour and mix in thoroughly. I actually used a food processor for this to get the smoothest texture possible.

To assemble the cake, line a 9" spring-form pan with the crust dough. Now here is where I have an apparent inability to follow simple directions because I decided to roll out the dough, drape it over a rolling pin and lay it into the pan, pie style, despite Sofie's clear direction to not do it that way because it won't work. The reason it doesn't work, incidentally, is that the dough is short (meaning with lots of butter) and crumbly and will break into many pieces if you do it that way. So, don't do it that way. Listen to Sofie and do it by placing the dough inside the pan and pushing it up the sides with your fingers or even the bottom of a glass.

After you've gotten the dough into the pan, prick the bottom with a fork a few times and sprinkle on a tablespoon of plain breadcrumbs. Um...OK, I didn't do that either. In my own defense, it was Sunday and there was rather a lot of napping going on in between steps. My cake was fine but the crust would have benefited slightly had I added the breadcrumbs and it is a step that I usually take with my savory tarts to keep the crust from getting soggy.

A German Inspired Cheesecake
Pour the cheese batter into the pan. It will appear very liquid but that's fine. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for approximately 80 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is set but not cracked. Cool thoroughly before removing from the pan. Note that Sofie's original recipe is for an apple cheesecake but I wanted to omit the apple layer so she advised me to just double the cheese filling. But whether you make her original version or my variation doesn't matter as long as you make it because it's fantastic!

51 comments:

  1. I've never baked a cheesecake using ricotta but looking at the creamy texture of your cheesecake I absolutely must give it a try soon.

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  2. Oh my. This looks like the BEST cheesecake from one of those amazing NY Delis.

    Simply divine, Anita! YUM!

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  3. That looks absolutely amazing! Too bad I have an unjustifiable fear of spring-form pans.

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    1. I've had a few choice words for my spring-form pan from time to time but no fear. :) If I did fear it, however, I would look for a large non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom. I find those release cakes beautifully.

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  4. Sofie is an incredible baker and you've done her justice with your great interpretation. Brava!

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  5. You've "done me proud", girl! The cheesecake is absolutely flawless and gorgeous! I must make this again soon, your pictures made me so hungry! :)

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  6. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! That cheesecake looks incredible!! I don't make cheesecake very often so its such a treat when I get a slice, yours sounds so delicious!

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  7. Ooooh absolutely gorgeous!!Looks so delicious and so indulgent!!Kudos to you for trying out Sofie's recipe and making it perfectly :)

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  8. Yum! Look at that big, beautiful cheesecake.

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  9. Wow, that is a tall, gorgeous cheesecake. I would love it with a side of fruit sauce.

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  10. Yum-O ... I just found your site through another blog and subscribed to your feed. Can't wait to see what else you're making!

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  11. This thing really does look over the top. I do not think I have ever seen such a tall cheesecake-yum! Ricotta is something I need to start experimenting with. Awesome pictures here!

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  12. What a gorgeous cheesecake. I've never made one with ricotta before. I'd l ike to give this a try! Yummy!

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  13. Wow! What a thick, beautiful cheesecake. I can't wait to try this. My husband loves cheesecake, so I'm eager to try the German version for him. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. I understand what you mean - reading this recipe and looking at your photos I am feeling one huge urge to make and dig into this cheesecake :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  15. This looks magnificent. I am impressed you were able to leave for it to be cool before digging in.

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  16. Ya know I'm not the biggest fan of cheesecake but just the looks of this one has me drooling over here! This would be perfect on a lazy sunday & would be so hard to resist eating straight out of the oven! Wow, the high sides the creamy filling...mmmm.

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  17. It's a stunning cheesecake! I've made one with a similar crust and it's tasty and a lot of work - but worth it. This one is just perfect!

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  18. This is the first time I've seen a cheesecake made with ricotta! It looks so rich, creamy and sweet...and I love how thick it turns out! Next time I set out to make cheesecake, I will try your version - can't wait!

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  19. Everything, from the crust to the ricotta filling, leaves me intrigued. Must try!

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  20. What a fabulous cheesecake! I want a slice please....

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  21. The only way I will eat cheesecake is with the Ricotta in it.. I love the lightness ... of course it's looks better on the waistline too :) this is beautifully done.. love the golden color!

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  22. This looks soo good! The crust looks perfect! I love cheesecakes but am extremely picky - yours looks like a winner!

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  23. This cheesecake look amazing, so tall, no cracks, beautiful I will definetely try the recipe!

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  24. these look absolutely mouth-watering!

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  25. The crust is my favorite part of cheesecake so this looks divine!!! Thanks so much!

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  26. Such a towering beauty! The only time I attempted a short crust, it burnt horribly! But I must try again...and Sofie's recipe (thanks to you!) will be the next I bake. Thanks, Anita :)

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  27. I have a seriousl love for cheesecake... it's kind of my weakness. This looks amazing.

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  28. This is a gorgeous cheesecake, Anita! So thick! *drools*

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  29. I don't even like cheesecake but boy oh boy....that is gorgeous.

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  30. This reminds me a lot of my mom's delicious cheesecake - a recipe she got years ago from her German friend. It looks so delicious, and your Sunday sounded really fabulous!

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  31. Hi,

    Congratulations on making the Foodbuzz Top 9! Nice cheesecake, but Catalina @ Cake With Love eluded to a question I have. How did you bake the cheesecake with without it cracking on top? In my experience with cheesecake, I've always had to wrap the bottom of my springform pan with aluminum foil, place it in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with boiling water to prevent cracking.

    Also, ever try making your own ricotta cheese? I recently prepared Michael Chirarello's homemade ricotta on my website, Crazy Foodie Stunts and wonder if it would work in this recipe.

    Regardless, it looks delicious!

    Cheers,

    DB-The Foodie Stuntman

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    1. Hi DB and thanks for the compliment. I've also always heard that a water bath was needed to stop the cracking. In this case, the originator of the recipe told me to try a lower heat, 300-325 degrees. Since it was just for us, I wasn't worried about looks and was surprised how nicely it came out. There was one tiny crack toward the side that didn't show in the photo but nothing that would stop me from serving it to company. I've never made my own ricotta but if the texture and fat content is similar to the store bought brand, I would imagine it would work fine but it sounds like there's a need for a tasty experiment :)

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  32. The cheesecake looks fantastic! I am saving this recipe to make in the future. Thanks for a great post:)

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  33. Major congrats on being in the foodbuzz top 9, today!

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  34. This is my absolute choice for my next cheesecake..The lemon and shortcrust locked the decision! It looks like perfection and ricotta is infinitely easier to find than cream cheese here in France. What dimension of springform pan did you use to achieve such gorgeous height?

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    1. Thanks! My springform pan is 9" in diameter and the sides are 3" high. The amount of pastry and cheese batter was enough to come right to the top of the pan. I hope you enjoy it!

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  35. This sounds like the cheesecake they do in my region (east of France, next to German border, so there is german influence in the cooking), and it is so good!! I ll try yours, as it's a bit different from the one I do.

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  36. oh wow that looks absolutely fantastic! i adore cheesecake!

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  37. Yum, I want this in my tummy right now! Thanks for sharing the yumminess!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

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  38. This cheesecake sounds amazing! I would love a large slice! Congrats on the Top 9 :)!

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  39. That is the largest Cheesecake I have ever seen Anita! It looks amazing!

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  40. Anita this cheesecake is thick and beautiful! I'd love a slice right now.

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  41. Just made this today. . Tastes as good as it looks. Anita explained everything precisely and the results were amazing.

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  42. The link to the dough trick is no longer working. Could you please explain the trick? Thanks :)

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    1. I'm sorry the link is no longer working. The trick is to break the dough in half. Press out one half on the bottom of the pan then, then create a roll with the other half. Place the roll around the side of the pan and press up. You can also just keep it as one piece but don't try to roll it out. You'll need to press it down and up as I did in this recipe: http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/07/blueberry-ricotta-cream-cheesecake.html I hope that helps!

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    2. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to

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    3. I made the cake - turned out great! Do you have the recipe for the original cake with apples? Do you know where I can get the other GermanFoodie recipes since the site is down? Thank you.

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    4. Yes, I want Sophie's original recipe for apple cheesecake please! Thank you for your yummy recipes.

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    5. BTW, I clicked on the link to follow the instructions Sophie uses on how to put the crust in the pan and it took me to a "404 page error". Can you help with this please? Thanks.

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