8-hour cheesecake

Texture rules: Heatter adapted this astoundingly creamy cheesecake recipe from a food writer Andrew Schloss, who found the very low cooking temperature produces a very creamy texture. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

Dessert royalty Maida Heatter has recipes everyone will enjoy, including this cheescake marvel of a dish.

8-hour cheesecake

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Servings: 12

Note: Adapted from "Maida Heatter's Cakes." Heatter advises that the correct oven temperature is vital because the cheesecake is not baked until done, instead, "you will bake for the specified time based on correct oven temperature." Heatter adapted this recipe from a cheesecake by food writer Andrew Schloss, who found the very low cooking temperature produces a very creamy texture.

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons (repeat, 2 tablespoons) vanilla
2 tablespoons cognac
2 tablespoons dark rum
5 large eggs

1. Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven; heat oven to 200 degrees. Beat the cheese in the large bowl of an electric mixer until soft and perfectly smooth, scraping the bowl and the beaters a few times during mixing. Gradually beat in sugar, vanilla, cognac and rum; add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

2. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8-by-3-inch one-piece cheesecake pan or a 2-quart souffle dish. Place into a larger pan that is not as deep as the cheesecake pan. Pour hot water about 2 inches deep into the larger pan.

3. Bake 8 hours; remove cake pan from hot water. Let stand several hours or overnight. To unmold, cover the cake pan with a flat cake plate or serving board; turn pan and plate over. If the cake does not slip out, gently bang the pan and plate on the work surface once or twice. Serve the cake upside down.

4. If you serve this before refrigerating or freezing (it freezes well), it will be especially delicate, creamy, tender and custardy. If you do freeze or refrigerate the cake, bring to room temperature before serving. Serve as is, perfectly plain, or serve with fresh berries.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 362 calories, 68% of calories from fat, 28 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 171 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 272 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.