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Cheesecake

Martha Stewart Living, May 2004

 

Cheesecake is the purist's dessert, simple and elemental. But it also requires a sleight of hand in which an unassuming ingredient magically blossoms into an elegant, almost sculptural study of texture and flavor. Most often, cream cheese is that ingredient. Mixed with sugar, vanilla, and eggs, then baked, it creates an irresistible result that is technically as close to a custard as it is to a cake.

But for cheesecake's admirers, it has much more appeal than either. Waiting to be sliced, it seems to whisper promises of delicate tang and sweetness. You might wonder how it will taste, how it will feel in the mouth. Softly yielding? Lusciously thick? Light, like mousse? The temptation will quickly prove too great: Resistance crumbles, you grab a spoon, and the cheesecake completes its seduction.

Getting Flawless Results
To avoid cracks in a finished baked cheesecake, start with the ingredients at room temperature; don't overmix the eggs, and don't overbake. Before unmolding, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. If the top does crack, consider concealing imperfections with fresh fruit or a berry or chocolate sauce.

Technique
Marbling cheesecake is an easy way to elicit oohs and ahs. This one and its miniature siblings have a raspberry puree swirled in. To marble, drop dollops of fruit puree onto the unbaked cake with a teaspoon, then use a wooden skewer or toothpick to tease out tendrils of sauce across the surface.

These cheesecakes, once set, can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to three days. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Try our Raspberry-Swirl Cheesecake.

Comments (5)

  • 30 Oct, 2008

    I made my very FIRST homemade cheesecake on Monday...omg delicious and it was DEVOURED overnight. Yesterday I made my SECOND homemade cheesecake (pumpkin cheesecake).........again, DELCIOUS and quickly devoured. Who knew it was so EASY to make your OWN homemade cheesecakes? Its the only dessert my hubby loves and we used to pay a premium for store bought cheesecakes.....NO MORE, all of ours will be HOMEMADE! (and so many variations to the recipes it will take yrs to try them all....!!!)

  • 14 Apr, 2008

    This is a great, creamy cheesecake. The combination with the raspberry sauce really makes it special. It is so rich, though, that I cut it into 16 pieces! (I live in Germany and here the portions are always smaller.)

  • 16 Mar, 2008

    I made these for a superbowl party in the cupcake size and everyone loved them. Although I only needed about 1/2 of the raspberry sauce to swirl on top, there was a lot left over.

  • 15 Jan, 2008

    From my experience - you should ALWAYS thaw frozen cheesecake in the refrigerator with the plastic wrap on - not unwrapped. It may take overnight to thaw depending on the thickness of the cheesecake. The bad news is that the crust will usually end up soggy. I use a nut crust that stays crunchy even after freezing - all the other crusts were soggy after thawing.

  • 2 Jan, 2008

    i used the new years cheese cake in your baking book i froze it like i do all other cheese cake and it melted once i let it stand to unfreeze i don't know what i did wrong please let me know antonia m. igrec {tonihenry]