A surprise. And no, the surprise isn't the awesome rainbow layers that appear on each slice of cake.
The surprise is that it's the best cheesecake you'll ever eat.
Beyond being beautiful, it's silky, smooth, light, and tasty all at the same time. It's the kind of cheesecake that needs no topping.
The downside of making cheesecake from scratch, however, is that it takes roughly 8 hours to make. So plan accordingly!
Now, of course, you don't have to do the whole rainbow thing. If you leave it out you'll still be left with a very awesome, standard colored, cheesecake that will wow your guests.
You’ll need a Springform pan
, which is the only way to get the cake to mold correctly. You also need to make sure your Springform pan is waterproof because you need to actually bake this cake in a water bath.
Have no fear though. This isn't hard. Just take a few layers of foil and carefully wrap it around the pan in both directions. Fold it carefully all around the edges until it fits snugly against the pan. Be careful not to rip the foil!
This was my pan ready to go.
This is a very standard graham cracker crust, although I do like to add a bit of cinnamon to mine. To make it, grind up your crackers really finely and mix it with your salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Then mash in the butter with your fingers.
Press this firmly into your prepared dish.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Be sure to let it cool completely before adding the filling.
To make the filling, start by whipping the cream cheese until it's nice and smooth – about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the sugar, salt, and vanilla and mix it again until smooth. Then beat in one egg at a time followed by the sour cream and heavy cream. You should end up with a silky smooth mixture.
Now for the fun part. The colors!
Just divide your mixture into 6 different bowls and add the appropriate colors to each bowl.
And yes, I realize that the rainbow actually has seven colors, but for this dish it's pretty impossible to tell the difference between violet and indigo. So six will do!
Once you have your colors mixed, pour them into the prepared pan with the crust in a logical order, which for me was: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
The trick is to pour each color right in the center of the dish. This will cause them to spread out evenly so each slice has all the layers!
Bake this at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 45 minutes in a water bath. To make the water bath, just set your Springform pan in a larger baking dish and then pour boiling water in the larger pan until it comes about 1 inch up the side of the dish.
An hour and 45 minutes will give you plenty of time to do all the dishes!
When it's done baking, the goal is to cool it down as slowly as possible so the cake doesn't crack a lot. The best way to do this is to turn off the oven, crack the door a bit, and let it cool in the water bath inside the oven for about an hour.
When it comes out, remove it from the water bath, cover it loosely with foil and store it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
When you're ready to remove the cake, slide a narrow knife around the edge of the pan. Then release the spring and carefully slide off the outside.
There's no doubt this take some time. But it's a really fun project and one that'll reward your work with a perfect cheesecake.Nick looked all around this cheesecake but never found a pot of gold. You can follow him on his blog, Macheesmo or on his Tablespoon profile.