Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This is a luscious cheesecake with its light fluffy texture. As Giada says "Amaretti are Italian cookies with a distinct almond flavor". If you can't find them in the specialty foods section of the grocery store use any almond-flavored cookie.
- 1⁄4 cup almonds, toasted sliced (or slivered)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3⁄4 cup amaretti cookie, crumbs*
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 18 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds
- Heat oven to 325°F Wrap foil around outside of 9 1/2- or 10-inch springform pan to prevent leaks while baking.
- In food processor, combine toasted almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar; pulse until finely chopped. Add amaretti crumbs and melted butter; pulse to mix. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, flour and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar mixture; beat until smooth.
- In medium bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks. Add egg yolks, sour cream, almond extract and vanilla to cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium-low speed just until well blended and smooth, scraping down bowl occasionally.
- In large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Gently fold whites into cream cheese mixture; pour into springform pan.
- Place springform pan in large, shallow roasting pan or broiler pan. Fill with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan.
- Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until edges are puffed and top looks dull and is dry to the touch. Center should be less set than edges and will move when pan is tapped. It should not ripple as if liquid. Turn oven off; leave cheesecake in oven with door closed 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Let stand in water bath 1 hour. Remove from water bath; cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours; cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 days.**.
- Just before serving, press almonds around side of cake.