2 2/3 cups Honey Graham Crackers, pulsed into fine crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
Ingredients for Cheesecake
3, 8 ounce packages Full-Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature and cut into cubes
1 cup Full-Fat Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
3 Large Eggs + 2 Large Egg Yolks, room temperature and slightly beaten
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
4 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour, sifted
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache Topping
8 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1-2 cups Mixed Fresh Berries, for optional garnish
01Lightly spray a 9” springform pan with a flour-based baking spray. Line the sides and bottom with parchment paper, then spray once more with the baking spray. Set aside.
02Using a food processor, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the sugar, salt, and melted butter and pulse until the mixture is similar to a wet sand.
03Press the graham cracker crust mixture into the springform pan. Then wrap the bottom of the pan in 3-4 layers of aluminum foil, making sure each layer comes up high along the sides of the pan. This will be to avoid any water from the water bath getting into the cheesecake. Set aside.
04Adjust the oven rack to the 3rd level position pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
05Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the softened and cubed cream cheese and sour cream for 4-5 minutes on medium-high speed until completely smooth. If needed, scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and whisk once more.
06Add in the sugar, vanilla extract and the slightly beaten eggs and yolks, and mix until well blended. Continue to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl as needed.
07Add in the heavy whipping cream and sifted flour and, to make sure you don’t overmix your cheesecake batter, whisk until just combined.
08Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Use a spatula to spread evenly over the top.
09Place the cheesecake pan that’s been wrapped in the aluminum foil layers into a deep roasting pan. Then fill the roasting pan up with hot water about half way.
10Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes at 325ºF. Refrain from opening and closing the oven door to check on the cheesecake during this time.
11When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and, with the oven door closed, let the cheesecake sit inside for 45 minutes. Once again, refrain from checking on the cheesecake until the 45 minutes is up.
12Remove the cheesecake, which will still be a little jiggly in the center, from the oven and very gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the springform pan. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the springform pan for 20-25 minutes, then very loosely lay some plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours or, preferably, overnight. When ready to serve you can remove the outside part of the springform pan and the parchment paper.
13 To make the optional chocolate ganache topping, place the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a medium-size bowl.
14Heat the heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until almost boiling or microwave the heavy whipping cream in a microwaveable measuring cup for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.
15Pour over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and add in the vanilla.
16 Loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over top and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
17Remove the foil and stir together until completely smooth.
18Pour over the chilled cheesecake, add some berries on top, and serve!