*Recipe modified from The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition. Btw, during the first endeavor of this recipe, I managed to be a klutz and spill 2 sticks of hot butter all over my book now some of my pages smell and feel like butter. "That means the book is being used, no?", is what my niece told me once.
1 - 9" spring-form pan
Prepare the melted chocolate first before beginning anything! It needs to cool.
Oh! And be sure to have all your ingredients at room temp. It'll be easier to handle if it's all slightly warmed up.
8 oz (by weight please) white chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup boiled hot water
Place the white chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot water over the it. Wait 2-3 minutes and stir until fully mixed and incorporated. Let cool.
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups ground graham crumbs (yes, the stuff out of the box is ok to, find it in the baking isle)
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (I used the 1/4 cup, depending on your sweet tooth)
6 tablespoons (3/4 sticks) melted butter (and cooled!!)
In the mean time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the crumbs with the sugar, then add the melted butter. Mix until coarse crumbs stick together. You may need to add more butter in this if you think it's too crumbly. I didn't like the extra fat in mine, so I opted for the more crumbly crust. Dump the crumbs into the spring-form pan. Spread out the crumbs until the bottom and the sides have crumbs around them. Press the crumbs down to flatten. The sides will not have the crumbs going all the way up so don't worry. Plus, your sides do not have to be perfect unless you want them to be perfectly even, but good luck. Place the crust into the oven for 10 minutes. Next!
For the cheesecake:
1 pound (2 - 8 oz packages) cream cheese
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
In a bowl of an electric mixer (it can be done by hand but it'll be a little harder), place the cream cheese and mix with a paddle until creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl then add the sugar and vanilla. Cream together for about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again. Next, incorporate 1 egg at a time. Add the next egg when you do not see the previous egg anymore. After the eggs are incorporated, add the 2 cups of sour cream. Mix the ingredients together until smooth. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to get everything together.
Pour the contents into the crust of the spring-form pan. Don't worry about going over the crust that you made. It will all harden when finished and it will be great! Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.
When you're done baking the cheesecake, open the door slightly and leave it ajar for about 1 hour. Turn off the oven. Let the cheesecake cool for the hour and then place in the fridge to cool completely, preferably over night, or 24 hours if time permits.
Chocolate cheesecake: minus the melted white chocolate, instead add 8 oz (yes, by weight!) of melted semi-sweet chocolate.
Upon refrigeration, I got a chocolate square and shaved some chocolate over the top.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and try the recipe! It's so EASY to make and it's delicious. Why spend $15 - $20 on something you can make yourself? It won't contain all the extra gelatin and preservatives as the store bought kind. Give it a try and post below about it! I would love to hear how yours came out.