This cheesecake is amazing. Dense and creamy, with a rich vanilla cream cheese flavor. A crust, plus 5 ingredients. Slow-baked for 3 hours. Easier than -- and yet just as good as -- any of our previous cheesecake recipes. Long-time readers know about our infatuation with cheesecakes, as both Joshua and I have created original cheesecake recipes and regularly bake cheesecakes for all occasions!
When Chef Corky Rosen contacted me and asked if Joshua and I would like to try his invention called a "CheesecakeMoat", I jumped at the opportunity! The CheesecakeMoat was designed to make waterbaths easy, and the photos on their website are stunning! (And watching their video demo of the CheesecakeMoat was pretty impressive, despite the over-emphasized leaky springform pan demo!) I wondered if it was truly that easy to make such a perfect, fantastic-looking cheesecake.
Our CheesecakeMoat arrived in the mail, and we got busy testing it. We started with the recipe included and were honestly amazed at the result! The cheesecake was firm and creamy, and picture-perfect -- just like the photos on the CheesecakeMoat website! The crust recipe turned out soggy for us, so in future tests we used one of our own crust recipes, using less butter and pre-baking the crust for a few minutes.
The resulting cheesecake was perfect. And that is not an understatement! Not only were Joshua and I extremely impressed, but our guests were raving over the amazing cheesecake with compliments like "best ever" and "even better than Cheesecake Factory"!
But the real question: Is this amazing cheesecake a result of Chef Rosen's recipe or his invention, the CheesecakeMoat? Time for lots more cheesecake (and guests to help us eat it all!) as we thoroughly tested the recipe with and without the CheesecakeMoat. (And thankfully, I was buying cream cheese at Costco: 3 pounds for $5.35 which makes one huge cheesecake!)
Our conclusion? The recipe is really good. It will make a stellar cheesecake with or without the CheesecakeMoat. But it will make the BEST cheesecake when using the CheesecakeMoat.
Now, you know I am honest in my reviews. In fact, I rarely accept products for review, opting instead to review things we researched, purchased ourselves, and love.
So the real question (#2) is: Would I recommend the CheesecakeMoat?
Here is what I love about the CheesecakeMoat:
Waterbaths made easy! It doesn't really do a true cheesecake waterbath, as there is space (air) between the pans (as shown in my photos), but for the Chef Rosen's recipe, this semi-water-bath seems to be quite sufficient.
(By the way this New York Cheesecake can easily be flavored, colored, or topped however you like and is a good all-around cheesecake base recipe. It's fast and simple to prepare; you just need to be home to take it out of the oven after 3 hours.)
Perfect cheesecake every time. Seriously. Using Chef Rosen's recipe (which I did modify slightly) and his CheesecakeMoat will produce a fabulous cheesecake, even for newbies.
Made in the USA.
Here's what I don't love:
Size for storage. The CheesecakeMoat is fairly big: about 14.5 inches in diameter. If you rarely make cheesecakes and have a small kitchen, this won't be worth the storage space it takes, as it is really a single-purpose item.
The price. Depending on your budget and your love for cheesecake (and your cheesecake-making skills), $30 can be too much.
But, I do want to put that $30 into perspective. The Cheesecake Factory's 10-inch original cheesecake sells for $42. (Go to that link to see what theirs looks like!) For the price of a CheesecakeMoat and the ingredients to make a Slow-Baked New York Cheesecake (I shop at Costco), I can make my own 10-inch New York Cheesecake that is just as good! And then I have the CheesecakeMoat, to continue making great cheesecakes.
Every slice: picture-perfect!
I know many of you don't have funds to splurge on Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, even for a special occasion. But we have been asked, many times, to make a cheesecake to sell. We usually decline, but with the superiority of this recipe and the ease of the CheesecakeMoat, I may be accepting more offers!
If you've ever wanted to make a great cheesecake but were afraid to try (or had failures), if you're married to someone who loves a good cheesecake, or you want to make cheesecakes to sell, or you need a gift for a cheesecake-loving friend -- I recommend the CheesecakeMoat! (If you can't afford the CheesecakeMoat, then I still recommend this recipe. YOU CAN make an awesome cheesecake!)
In exchange for reviewing the CheesecakeMoat, Chef Rosen is sponsoring a giveaway of a CheesecakeMoat to one of my readers here! This is your opportunity to win a free CheesecakeMoat and enjoy making cheesecakes like the ones in my photos!
To be entered in the drawing, please log in and then leave a comment on this post saying you'd like to be entered. (No need to leave your email address in the comment, since I can see the one on your account.) The drawing is open today (Monday, July 26) through Friday, July 30 2010. A winner will be randomly selected and posted on Monday, August 2.
Any questions about the CheesecakeMoat? Ask me in a comment! :)
Full Disclosure, as always: I received a CheesecakeMoat for review purposes. I have not and will not receive any other gain, financial or otherwise, from this CheesecakeMoat review or sales. The opinions presented are completely my own. Happy Cheesecake-Making! :)
(And a huge THANK YOU to Chef Rosen for allowing me to test the CheesecakeMoat and for sharing his great recipe!)
P.S. Remember this picture? :) That's Ruth (2) with a slice of this Slow-Baked New York Cheesecake! :)