I’ve been wanting to post about cheesecake for several months now, and what better time than just after Thanksgiving? Rather than just posting pictures with a brief description, this post will walk you through my cheesecake recipe step-by-step.
It takes several days to make a cheesecake, so I recommend planning ahead. Several of these steps can be performed in parallel, but I usually like to make the cream cheeses one at a time.
- Pour 1 quart heavy cream into a 1 quart saucepan and warm to 65°F. Sprinkle the contents of 1 mesophilic culture packet on top of the cream. Wait 5 minutes before stirring thoroughly.
- Dilute one drop liquid rennet in 2 tablespoons distilled water. Add to cream and stir with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute. Cover and let sit for 24 hours.
- Line a colander with a large square of cheesecloth. Pour half of the cream into the colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the rest of the cream into the colander and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
- Tie together the corners of the cheesecloth to create a bag. Hang the bag to drain for 12 hours.
- Untie the bag and place the drained curd into a mold lined with a clean square of cheesecloth. Press at 10 pounds of pressure for 4 – 6 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the press, peel back the cheesecloth, and refrigerate until needed.
- Pour the half and half into the 1 gallon pot and warm to 85°F. Sprinkle the contents of the remaining mesophilic culture packet on top of the cream. Wait 5 minutes before stirring thoroughly.
- Dilute remaining 3 drops rennet in 1/3 cup distilled water. Add 1 teaspoon of the diluted rennet to the cream and stir with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute. Cover and let sit for 12 hours. The remaining rennet mixture can be discarded.
- Heat 2 – 3 quarts of water to 170°F. Add enough hot water to the curdled cream to raise its temperature to 125°F.
- Line a colander with a large square of cheesecloth. Pour the cream into the colander and tie the cheesecloth into a bag. Hang the bag to drain for 12 hours.
- Peel the cheesecloth off of the cheese and refrigerate until needed.
- Pour remaining 1 cup heavy cream into the medium mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until it separates into butter and buttermilk. Discard the buttermilk and rinse the butter with cold water to remove remaining milk. Refrigerate butter until needed.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Melt butter in the microwave or over the stove. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cocoa. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of the springform pan. Set aside.
- Add cheeses to the large mixing bowl and beat until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually add the condensed milk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
- Toss 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon flour to prevent sinking. Mix into the cheese mixture.
- Pour cheese mixture into the crust and sprinkle the top with remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let cake sit for 1 additional hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Refrigerate before removing sides of pan.