I had some cream cheese bought at Buy 1 Take 1 taking up space in the fridge for some time, and the other night, I chanced upon a video of Buddy Valastro making cheesecake. He made it seem so easy! So since I was running out of ideas about what to do with my cream cheese, I decided to make his cheesecake recipe. It seemed easy! All you need is cheese (ricotta, actually, but I used my cream cheese), 4 eggs, 1 cup of sugar. For flavoring, just add vanilla and the zest of one lemon (luckily, I also had a lemon in the fridge for more than a week). Three basic ingredients + 2 flavorings. Yes! I didn’t even have to print out the recipe. Easy peasy!
Since I didn’t have ricotta, I used 3 bars of cream cheese. I know, the recipe called for 3lbs of ricotta. But 3lbs of cream cheese is 6 bars! Isn’t that a little too much? So I only used half = 3 bars of cream cheese.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. No spring form pan? Get a sheet of greaseproof paper or wax paper, trace your pan onto the paper, and cut the circle. Use the round paper to line the inside of your 9-inch cake pan. Butter and flour as usual (on top of the paper).
You need two bowls for this. In one bowl, put the cream cheese, 4 egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tsps of vanilla, and the zest of one lemon. In another bowl, put the 4 egg whites. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Quickly beat the cream cheese until blended. This way, you don’t need to wash the mixer blades, but make sure to beat the cream cheese quickly so your egg whites won’t stand too long waiting. Fold in one third of the egg whites into the cream cheese batter until well-combined. Make sure to fold carefully so as to not release all the air in the beaten egg whites. Then fold in the next third, then the last third. Pour into your prepared pan.
Turn the heat down to 350°F. Bake for one hour or up to one hour and 10 minutes. Turn off oven, prop the door open and let the cake cool in the oven. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing.
This cheesecake is simply divine! And it is super easy to make, unlike other cheesecake recipes with complicated methods and hard to find ingredients. Everybody thought it was the best cheesecake I had ever made, me included! I will definitely be making this again. It is so easy. Next time, I will strive to use 3lbs of ricotta, now that I know how easy it is to make ricotta at home. The cheesecake was really, really, really good. Yes, my cheesecake cracked. So what. It’s still edible and amazingly delicious!
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