Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicago-style Cheesecake and my 100th post

This is my 100th post, amazing that I have hit my 3 digits posting which I ever thought that I may not last that long. Hope my passion for baking and blogging can last till I hit 1000 posts hahaha... I am too ambitious! But if I ever hit 1000 posts, I will definitely bake a 3-tier cake to celebrate. Oh I am dreaming again heeheehee...

This Chicago-style cheesecake is not for celebrating my 100th posting :p, it was baked for my sister. She ever asked me whether I know how to bake Chicago cheesecake as she love this cheesecake from Coffee Bean. But I never eat Chicago cheesecake before, how is it taste like? Can't get much info from my sis so I was thinking of going Coffee Bean and check it out.

Before I remember to drop by Coffee Bean, my cream cheese is going to expire in 2 months time. Although 2 months is still a long way but I know myself, if dun use it now I will definitely forget about it. I love to buy and stock baking ingredients but sometimes will keep until over the expiry date that have to dump into the dustbin. I know I know, I shouldn't be so wasteful which I keep reminding dear daughter cannot waste food cos a lot of children in developing countries dun even have sufficient food to eat. I am setting a bad example, I am quitting this bad habit by checking stock and the expiry date periodically.

I googled to search for the recipe and I found 2 difference recipes, one is eggs separate method and another one is whole eggs method. I am not sure which is closer to Coffee Bean's but I decided to use this recipe, simply because I dislike to handle the folding of egg whites to the batter and also this recipe is just nice to get rid of all my cream cheese.

From the identical appearance and almost similar ingredients, I was wondering what is the different between Chicago Cheesecake and New York Cheesecake so I googled and found this from wikipedia:

The United States has several different recipes for cheesecake and this usually depends on the region the cake was baked in as well as the cultural background of the person baking it.

* New York-style cheesecake relies upon heavy cream. Usually, cheesecake is made from cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. It is baked in a special 13–15 cm (5–6 inches) tall springform pan in many restaurants. Some recipes use cottage cheese and lemon for distinct texture and flavor or add a drizzle of chocolate or strawberry sauce to the basic recipe.

* Sour cream-style uses sour cream instead of heavy cream. This makes the cheesecake more resilient to freezing and is the method by which most frozen cheesecakes are made.

* Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer's cheese.

* Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavor than New York-style cheesecake.

* Farmer's cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.

* Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.

* Lactose-free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.

* Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis variant that has a layer of regular cake with a cheesecake top.

Someone might noticed and wondered why there was a hole (near to the cherry) on the cake, silly me used the skewer to test the doneness of the cake. Only when I poked the cake then I realised it was cheesecake, not tested by this way but too late hahaha...

Ingredients : (for 6" cake pan)
Crust :
64g unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
20g icing sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
64g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Filling :
500g cream cheese, softened
100g granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (original recipe call for sour cream)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg yolk
2 medium eggs

Method :
For the crust:
1. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy
2. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
3. Add the flour and the salt and beat on low speed until just combined.
4. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Pre-heat oven at 175 degree.
6. Prick the chilled crust several times with a fork and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the filling:1. Pre-heat oven at 175 degree.
2. Beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed to break it up and soften it.
3. Add half the sugar and the lemon zest and beat on medium-low speed until combine.
4. Beat in the remaining sugar, flour, and salt until combined, another minute.
5. Mix well the vanilla extra with buttermilk and add in to the batter to beat until combine.
6. Add the egg yolk and beat for one minute.
7. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat to combine after each addition. (I am not sure is it cos I used buttermilk that caused the batter to be very running)
8. Grease the side of the cake pan. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet or aluminum foil to catch any spill.
9. Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and bake for 50 - 60 mins or until the cheesecake is firm around the edges and barely jiggles in the center. (the recipe didn't ask for water bath method but I used another tray half filled with hot water and position at the last row and bake the cheesecake in middle rack)
10. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 3 hours then wrap tightly with plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 4 days.
11. Unmould the cheesecake and serve.

The cake is rich, smooth and creamy, sinful but absolutely delicious. I can't differentiate much of the taste between Chicago & New York cheesecake, both actually very identically. Whether is Chicago or NY cheesecake, it doesn't matter, most importantly, my dear sister love the cake, she said seem to be tasted alike with Coffee Bean's. This cake also well received by the rest except dear daughter, she told me to prefer to eat slice cheddar cheese instead of eating cheesecake :(.


  1. Congratulations! Your cake look so tempting!

  2. Congratulations on your 100th post! Love this cheesecake and looks tall too ;)

  3. Congrats on your 100th post! The cheese cake looks very rich & yummy!

  4. congrats on ur 100th post =) your chicago cheesecake is so tempting!!

  5. Congratulations! You've put me to shame- you've reached your hundredth post in a mere eight months. I have been at this for more than a year and probably have not hit a hundred posts if I take away all the giveaway announcements! Well done, Grace!

  6. Looks delish! ;)
    I can't wait to make it till my 100th :)

  7. Woah... Coffee Bean's Chicago Cheesecake's my all time favourite cheesecake.

    Congrats on your 100th post :)

  8. Congrats on your 100th post! Well done! Love your cheesecake. Wish I'm there to celebrate with you :D Keep blogging Keep Smiling! MaryMoh at

  9. 100th post! Congrats! The cheese cake looks rich and yummy!

  10. Thanks Sonia.

    Thanks Ann, I love my cake to be tall so I will use smaller cake pan :p.

  11. Thanks DG.

    Thanks Jess.

    Thanks sohdalex. If you like rich cheesecake, this is yummy :).

  12. Thanks Shirley. You have busy schedule that you are flying around, tats why you will take longer time to achieve :).

    Thanks Wendy. Oh so you and my sis are the same taste bud, tat is her all time favourite cheesecake too.

  13. Thanks Mary, I wish you can be there to celebrate with me hehehe..

    Thanks Busygran :).

  14. Nice to see that you're making blogging a regular habit. Your persistence is commendable. I have blogged for close to 16 months, and yet have only published 77 posts. HAHAHA! =P

    Aiya, poked it or not ... New York or Chicago style, all I know is the cheesecake looks delectable! Don't worry lar, maybe your daughter is not a cheesecake person only ... But that doesn't mean the rest of your family doesn't eat cheesecake mah ... Now you know your daughter's preference lor ... Cheesecake is out of the league when it comes down to making birthday treat for her. =)

  15. I loooove Coffee bean's Chicago cheesecake! I have to try this!

  16. Congrats...!! I still have 9 posts to go before I reach my 100th post ;), what a shame, because I started blogging earlier than you...!

    The cheesecake looks SO GOOD! I have not dared yet making cheesecake myself, because it seems quite complicated to make besides the fact that my husband is not so fond of it...

  17. Great job Jess! Indeed the 100th post is worth remembering. ;) can't wait to see your next hundred post and more! Wonderful rich cheesecake, but I too can't differentiate NY vs Chicago even after I have tasted both before. Either way, so long as it a good piece of cheesecake, just hand it over! ;)

  18. I was just asking in another blog the differences btw New York and Chicago cheesecake and here you have the answer. I love cheesecake anyway and love those classic ones whether it is Chicago or NY-style :D

  19. Congrats on your 100th post! Lovely, yummy cheesecake, looks moist too.

  20. Looks so smooth and delectable! Perfectly baked.

  21. Hi Jess, congrats on your 100th post. You must be so, so happy. BTW your cheesecake looks so good as well. Like Angie says, it is so smooth. My hubs would love to have a couple of slices of this .. he is so into cheesecakes.

  22. Your cheesecake is nicely baked without any cracks and nice surface. I like the silky, smooth and rich texture of it. Looks perfect! Thank you for sharing and identifying the various of cheesecake. I looks like quite similar as new york cheesecake but this size is taller. I always like tall cake, looks nice and elegant.

  23. congratulations on your 100th post!!! wow, what an accomplishment!! and your cheesecake looks so creamy and delicious! thanks for all the info on the types of cheesecakes!

  24. Hey Jess,

    Congrats on your 100th post. It will probably take me several more months to reach mine.

    Ooh!~~~ I love dense cheesecakes. Whatever style they are, so long they are dense I will like it. Yours is so dense looking and tall that I wish I could have a slice right away, haha.. Makes me crave for cheesecakes....

    cheers and have a nice weekend =]

  25. Congrats! Hope to have many more 100th to add on. =) The cake looks rich!

    And like you I have the habit of buying and forgot abt it!

  26. Congrats on your 100th post. This cake look so neat and rich!

  27. Congrats! Brilliant 100th post, this looks sooo good x

  28. Congratulations on your 100th post...

    Am sure u can make it to 1000 post, jia you!!!

  29. Congrats on ur 100th post..

    Just to check with u.. issit ok if we dun include the buttermilk or sour cream..

    I got alot questions .. interested in baking but skills lousy haha!

  30. i dont even remember my 100th post...nvm...let me wait for 200th than i celebrate.hahahaha
    nice cheese cake ~~

  31. more 100 post to come! the cheesecake looks inviting!

  32. Kong Xi Kong Xi :)

    Aiyo...that cheesecake looking so beautiful to eat.

  33. Congrats... the cheesecake looks so yummy

  34. Thanks Pei Lin. Hope I am able to keep up and blog regularly :)

    Ya you are right, my gal is not a cheesecake person so I wil remove her feedback hahaha...

    pigpigscorner, let me know whether is it as gd as Coffee Bean's after you try it :).

    Thanks Cooking Gallery, Jiayou you are reaching 100th post soon. Me too initially dare not embark on bake cheesecake until I cannot resist the temption. DO try it, not as dificult as we think so.
    Me too my husband and daughter not cheesecake person so I bake for my bro & sis,friends & colleagues :)

  35. Thanks Bee Bee, your encouragement definately will make me keep moving heeheehee.... You are right, as long as is good cheesecake, watever the name doesnt matter :)

    Tigerfish, me too, love any cheesecake as long as is cheesecake hahaha...

    Thanks No-Frilled Recipes.

  36. Thanks Angie :).

    Thanks Jo. Yes, it was like so fast and I am able to hit 100 posts :). If your husband is cheesecake lover, he will like this cake.

    Thanks Grace. I love tall cake too so I always try to make my cake tall :P.

  37. Thanks Chef Dennis :).

    Thanks Swee San :).

    Thanks ZY, you will be there in no times :).
    I love dense cheesecake too, actually prefer dense cheesecake over light cheesecake although I like light cheesecake too :P. But need to ve some restriction since I am already ballooned :P.

  38. Thanks Fatmum. Ya we must ve the habit of stock taking so that we are awared of the expiry date :P.

    Thanks Quizzine :).

    Thanks How To Be Perfect :).

  39. Thanks Somewhere in Singapore, 承你贵言 to achieve 1000 posts :).

    苏联妈妈, your 200th post will be coming soon :)!

    Thanks Anne :).

  40. Thanks Jackie :).

    Thanks Neyeeloh :).

  41. Thanks Linlin.

    What is the reason you wanna omit buttermilk or sour cream? If you dun ve these ingredients, you may subsitute as follows info from Joy of Baking :

    MILK, Buttermilk (sour milk) 1 cup (240 ml) replace by :-
    1. 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar (white or cider) plus enough milk to make 1 cup (240 ml) (let stand 5-10 minutes)
    2. 1 cup (225 grams) plain or low fat yogurt
    3. 1 cup (225 grams) sour cream
    4. 1 cup (240 ml) water plus 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
    5. 1 cup (240 ml) milk plus 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

    Cream, Sour 1 cup (225 grams) (8 ounces) replace by :
    1.1 cup (225 grams) plain yogurt
    2. 3/4 cup (180 ml) sour milk, buttermilk or plain yogurt + 1/3 cup (75 grams) melted butter

    Read more:

    Let me know if you still have any doubts, I will try my best to help :).

  42. Congrats! The cheesecake is nicely baked and tall, very pretty!

  43. Rich and creamy cheesecake, looks so delectable.

  44. Congratulations on your 100th post. This cheesecake looks DIVINE! I am totally obsessed with cheesecake and i think this one looks the part!! YUMMY

  45. thanks Anonymous & Joudie's mood food :).

  46. congrats on your 100th post! your cheesecake looks amazing :)

  47. Jess Congrats for your 100th post! Look forward for more beautiful bakes and postings from you.
    You are great with rich cheesecake! Oh mine, this looks inviting! Nice clicks there!

  48. Hihi Thanks for the reply.. the reason for not using sour cream... is Im afraid that I will not be using it after one time usage haha!

    but just to check again.. i can get the sour cream at supermarkets right>?

  49. thanks Wiffy.

    thanks Jessie, I hope I can come out more interesting and nice bakes too :P.

  50. Hi Lilin, I understand that, tats why I didnt use sour cream too. For a start, may be you can use buttermilk subsitution which I used b4 too. For this recipe of 6" cake pan, use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vingar plus enough milk to make up 1/3 cup and let it stand for 5-10 mins.

    You can get sour cream at any supermarket at chiller section next to cream cheese/yogurt section.

  51. Hi Jess, thanks for the reply.. so butter milk is also at the chiller section?

    I want to try the swirl chocolate cheesecake that u make.. hope is a success..

  52. Congrats on your 100th post. Yay. I have never heard of Chicago Cheesecake and I really like cheesecake, well the baked kind. Yours looks super yummy.

  53. Hi Lilin, yes buttermilk is at chiller section. BTW, if you have milk and lemon or vinegar at home, you dun need to buy buttermilk, simply replace by using milk + lemon juice or vinegar.

    Oh chocolate swirl cheesecake is my favourite, wish you all the best on baking and hope you will love the cake as I do :).

  54. Thanks Linda, me too never heard of chicago cheesecake until my sis told me :P.

  55. Congratulations, Jess! May many more to come 200th, 300th, 400th.... Enjoy & have lots of fun! What a grogeous cake for such a lovely day! All the best to you.
    Cheers, kristy

  56. 恭喜咯!只要你努力很快就会有1000th post了!

  57. Thanks Chocolate Freckles :).

    Thanks Kristy, I can't image I can have so many posts hahaha... I must jia you :).

    Thanks 温馨小屋, it is like a tough target but I will jia you :).

  58. Wow this looks fantastic.. cheesecake is my all-time favorite, but I have yet to find a stellar cheesecake place here in NYC!! (I know, right?!)

    I very much like your blog, so glad I came across it!

  59. Thanks Samantha and welcome to my blog and hope you will drop by often :).
    If you cant find any stellar cheesecake place in NYC, make it one for yourself, you can make it!

  60. I love your cheesecake vyyyyyyyyyy much! Can i hv a bite or more? ;-p
    BTW, this is my first time leaving comment in your blog, but I'm not unfamiliar with your blog :-) I love the way you present your bakes and cooks. It's just lovely.


  61. Hi Esther, thanks for visiting and supporting my blog :). Definitely you can have more than a bite, a big slice for you ok? :P. Thanks again :)

  62. Hi, i love coffe bean;s chicago cheesecake too, it's very rich, the last time i bought it took me almost 4 days to finish the cake, i just ate one bite at one time. Maybe one day i'll try this recipe of yours cos it looks real good, i have a recipe for ny cheesecake that calls for buttermilk, that's why i didnt bother to try it but after reading your comments on how to replace the buttermilk, maybe i should give this a try. Thanks!

  63. Babe.. can help to convert the following to grams?

    3/4 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup buttermilk

  64. Hi Lena, do try it and let me know :)

  65. Hi lilin, I am using measuring cups n spoons for baking, if convert to grams I can only aga aga ;
    3/4 tbsp all purpose flour = abt 5g
    1/3 cup buttermilk = about 70g

    Hope this helps n happy baking.

  66. Hi Babe, I try the cake todae and is now baking in the oven.. check with u.. why ur cake top is glossy whereas mine is not... =(

    Any reason..

  67. Hi Linlin, my cheesecake top turned glossy after I put in the fridge to chill. I dub remember it ia glossy when just out from fridge.

  68. thanks babe... i realise that mine is abit glossy after coming out from the fridge hee!!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.!!

  69. Hi! May i know what kind of cake pan are u using to bake the cheesecake?

  70. Hi Xue

    I am using the springform cake pan.

  71. how do you make lemon zest? is there any substitution for it ?

  72. Hi Desmond, you can either use lemon or orange zest. As how to make lemon zest, I usually will use a small knife and slowly trim the skin out, or use vegetable peeler, beware not to peel the white color part.

  73. my crust turned out burned :(
    is 175 too high ?
    which rack should i put ?
    middle ? or lower middle ?

  74. Hi Desmond, perhaps your oven is a little bit hotter? I usually put in the middle rack, you can cover the top with aluminium foil if the top brown too quickly.

  75. hi, can i check if i can double the recipe? would it turn out the same? what size cake tin would you recommend?

  76. hi can i check if its alright to double the recipe? would it turn out the same? can i check what size cake tin would u recommend if i double the recipe?

    1. Hi Vic, my recipe is for 6" round cake, if you wanna double the recipe then you may use 10 to 12" round cake pan.

  77. Thank you soooo much. I made cheesecake for the first time and it was just amazing and delicious. Even my husband who doesnt like cheesecake asked for more. Its full of flavour. I will definitively try other recipes that you posted. I still cant believe that I made the cake, it tastes just like one you order at restaurants ;)))

  78. Looks delicious. I love Coffee Bean's cheesecake so I'll give this recipe a try.

  79. I tried to bake this today, it turns out well =) Just can't wait till next day, so i scrap the one stick at the side of the pan and tasted just like the cake sold in Coffee Bean! Thanks for sharing this great recipe of yours! By the way, i have a small oven; hence base on my experience - i started of with 170"C (for 20 minutes) and later on turn down to 150"C for another 40 minutes. There is only slight browning effect at the side of the round cake. I think this is fine as long as i do not over bake them =)


  80. Hi there!

    I wanted to make this for a friend's birthday, I followed your recipe but the top cracks at the side and is slightly burnt. I also added the water bath slightly later (maybe 3 - 5 minutes after putting the cake in) - did that affect the result of the cake?



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