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Cheesecakes can be very heavy and rich, but not French-style cheesecakes! What is so special about French cheesecakes? These cheesecakes have a particularly light and fluffy filling with a slightly tangy flavor, and the base is thin and buttery, which just melts in your mouth.
Sounds good, right? What’s better is that the recipe that I am going to share with you in this article tastes better than it sounds! If you want to WOW your friends with a fresh and delicious dessert, or you simply want to make yourself a cheeky street, then this recipe is just what you need.
Make sure you gather all of the ingredients and kitchen tools before you start so that you are organized. This will help you get into your baking flow!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 lb cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, separated (make sure you keep both the yolks and the whites)
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
How to Make a French Cheesecake
I have broken down the instructions to make it easier for you. This should help you focus on baking the base to perfection before getting stuck into the filling.
Note: Before you begin to make the cheesecake crust, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit so that your oven has enough time to reach the desired temperature.
Step 1: Mix the Butter and Flour Together
You will find this step much easier if you leave the butter out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes so that it has time to soften completely. Once the butter is soft, you can begin to mix the butter and flour together in a mixer.
Step 2: Add the Sugar and Egg Yolk
Once the mixture is smooth and uniform, you can proceed to add the egg yolk and sugar. Mix it all together until the crust dough looks like beige playdough.
Step 3: Press Together and Remove One Third
Press the dough together with your hands and mold it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, remove one-third of the mixture, and put it to one side; this will make the cake base.
Step 4: Bake the Base
Take the small ⅓ section of dough and press it into the cake baking tin with your fingers. Try to get the dough as uniform as possible (this is quite hard, as the base is going to be very thin)—Bake the base for approximately eight minutes, or until you see the edged beginning to brown.
Step 5: Bake the Side Crust
Once the cake tin has cooled down, press the larger ball of dough up the side of the cake tin. Bake the crust for a further 10 minutes.
Note: Before you start mixing up the filling, you will need to reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Farenheight. Do not bake your cheesecake at 400 degrees as it will burn, and all of your hard work will be redundant.
Step 1: Separate the Eggs
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them both to one side. Do not dispose of the yolk or the whites, as you will need them both later.
Step 2: Mix the Sugar and Cream Cheese and Add the Egg Yolks
Mix the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth. This is much easier to do in the food mixer rather than by hand. Add the egg yolks once the sugar and cream cheese is completely blended.
Step 3: Beat Until Creamy
Beat the mixture until it is all soft and creamy.
Step 4: Add Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, and Vanilla
Add the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla, and mix the whole mixture together. It is vital that you make sure there are no lumps in the mixture by this point.
Step 5: Beat Egg Whites Separately
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are firm and hold their shape. You can do this in a mixer or by hand.
Step 6: Fold into the Filling Mixture and Pour into the Cake Pan
Gently fold the egg whites into the cheesecake filling mixture. Be careful not to over mix the filling, as the more you mix it at this point, the more dense the filling will turn out.
Step 7: Bake
Bake your cake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want the cheesecake filling to burn. The cake is done once the top of the cake is brown, and the filling feels firm and bouncy.
French Cheesecake Tips & Ideas
We all need to learn a few tips and tricks that will help us follow new recipes. Here are some useful tips, tricks, and hacks that I discovered over time that have helped me make this cake delicious and exciting every time.
Yes, following a recipe is important and has a better success rate than going freestyle, but that doesn’t mean that following the recipe down to the last letter will work for you. Keep the following things in mind as you follow the recipe in this article, and don’t be afraid to make alterations if you feel it’s necessary.
Every Oven is Different
Every oven will take a different amount of time to heat up to the desired temperature. You know how your oven works the best, so keep this in mind when you think about where in the oven the cake should go and how long to wait for the oven to preheat.
Texture and Consistency are Important
Getting a smooth texture and even consistency is almost as important as following the measurements correctly. If the mixture is bumpy or grainy, it will not be appealing, and you will struggle to get an even bake on the cake.
Don’t Stick to Baking Times too Rigidly
Baking times are there for you to use as a rough guide. What is more important is how to cake looks and feels. Let’s say your cake has been baking for 35 minutes, but the top is brown, and the cake is firm and bouncy to strenuous, then it is done. Leaving it in the oven for that extra 10 minutes would burn it.
You can use vegan or dairy-free butter and cream cheese if you are on a lactose-free diet. There is no reason why you can’t use gluten-free flour in your recipe either. Just remember that changing the ingredients will alter the baking time slightly.
Toppings and Presentation Ideas
Are you hosting a gathering? Making mini cakes rather than one large cake can look very striking and certainly will prompt your guests to ask for your cheesecake recipe. Is the recipe in this article as usual, but instead of making one big cake, make several little cakes.
Fruit toppings and cheesecake are a match made in heaven. Fruit with a tangy aftertaste are better options for cheesecake toppings as they compliment the richness of the cream cheese perfectly; however, feel free to go for whatever fruit you like the most.
Top Idea: Why don’t you make a homemade fruity jam for your cheesecake topping?
Whipped Cream Side
Whipped cream or clotted cream is great cheesecake sides. This will make your cheesecake taste extra rich and creamy!
Tangy Lime Sorbet
Making a tangy lime sorbet to refresh your tastebuds after a few bites of rich cheesecake is a great idea. A slightly cour flavor after a bite of creamy cheesecake will really make you eager to take the next bite of cake.
Ice cream and cake are perfect partners. If you want to be very fancy, you could even make the ice cream yourself! I always go for shop-bought ice cream as there is more of a variety of flavors to choose from, and no matter what you go for, it will probably taste amazing.
If you are a hardcore dessert fan, then you may feel like you aren’t digging into a cake if there isn’t any chocolate to be seen. I love this cheesecake recipe with a bit of melted chocolate drizzled on top.
I find that melting and drizzling the chocolate on every slice as and when you dig into it is much better than adding a top layer of chocolate to the cake. This is because the top layer is likely to harden faster than you and your guests will eat the cake, and it can get a little messy to eat.