Hollywood Cheesecake for Dad

Cherry Cheesecake from Bake Chocolate Cake
When I was a child I made cheesecake from a No-Bake Cheesecake mix. I remember pouring the packet of powder into a bowl with milk and then beating it until it formed a pudding-like substance. I spread the pudding on top of a graham cracker pie crust and then put it into the fridge to chill. I was so excited about my first dessert! It became a family favorite.

Fast forward a few years and I learned that the cheesecake recipe on the back of a package of real cream cheese is far superior to the boxed mix. Luckily I had parents who supported my baking hobby and they provided a pantry stocked with supplies. (Sorry mom and dad for dramatically increasing the cost of this dessert!)

Obviously, this recipe became the family's new favorite. I doubled the recipe to make an extra thick New York style cheesecake.  It is delicious and moist even without a topping.

My dad is no longer here to enjoy this dessert so I dedicate this piece to him on Father's Day.

Thanks dad for always being enthusiastic about my baking. Thanks for joining me in the kitchen for all of those late night conversations and for continually telling me that whatever I baked was delicious. These extra cherries on top are just for you! I miss you dad!

Happy Father's Day!

Hollywood Cheesecake

4-8 oz packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 eggs, separated (In a separate bowl beat egg whites stiff)

Topping *
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare a cookie crust.  I usually make a graham cracker crust using one package of graham crackers, 2 Tablespoons sugar and about 1/4 cup melted butter.  Crush the cookies and combine all of the ingredients.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan.  Bake 300 degrees for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth.  Add egg yolks one at a time.  Stir in the stiff egg whites.

Spoon mixture over cookie crust. Bake 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

*In a small bowl stir together all of the ingredients for the topping and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Carefully spread the topping on top of the hot cheesecake.  Continue to bake for an additional ten minutes.

Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door slightly propped open for about 20 minutes. The cake should just barely wiggle when tapped lightly on the side of the pan.

Cool. Cover the cooled cheesecake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve remove the cheesecake from the pan.  Slice and top with fruit.

Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.