Servings: Makes one 9-inch cheesecake or 16 2-inch squares
Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the center. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a medium bowl. Press mixture evenly into either a 9-inch springform pan or an 8" x 8" square pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is slightly darker and fragrant. Remove from oven and place on a baking sheet.
To make the filling, mix cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer with paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended, then add vanilla. Pour into crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until cheesecake is wobbly in the center when tapped. Remove from oven and cool for at least 5 minutes. It should be firm before adding topping.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Gently pour mixture over cheesecake; return it to oven for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Presentation 1: Passed Squares
Using a sharp knife wiped with a hot damp towel, trim off one edge. Then, starting with trimmed side, cut cake into 16 squares using a small offset spatula. Arrange squares on a platter; garnish each square with mint.
Presentation 2: Classic Wedges
Using a sharp knife wiped with a hot damp towel, loosen cake from pan, then release springform. Place mint sprig in center of cheesecake; transfer with bottom of pan to a serving platter.
Adapted from Dishing with Style by Rori Trovato
From the April 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!