Sweet Potato Cheesecake


For the crust:
45 vanilla wafers 
2 tbsp sugar
1 stick of butter (113.4 grams), melted

For the cheesecake:
3 8oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup of brown sugar
2 lbs of cooked, mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ginger 
2 1 tablespoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of flour 

To quickly bring cream cheese to room temperature, place unwrapped cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until slightly softened. Do not let it melt or get warm. Refrigerate if it does.

NOTE: Use a conventional oven rather than a convection oven in baking your cheesecake. The forced hot air from the convection oven causes too much browning and can often cause  the center of the cheesecake to collapse.

Bake sweet potatoes 1 hour or until knife inserted in centers goes through easily; remove from oven and let cool slightly. Peel and puree in blender or food processor.

Transfer 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree to a large bowl. Add cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and whipping cream; beat, on low speed, just until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. NOTE: Do not over beat the mixture. You want to avoid beating air into the mixture. Too much air will make the cheesecake fall.

Pour sweet potato filling into prepared graham cracker crust, using the back of a spoon to spread evenly over the crust (this helps get rid of any extra air bubbles).

Place cheesecake in center of middle oven rack. Position a baking pan filled halfway with hot water on lower rack. Bake approximately 1 1/4 hours or until edges are light brown and center is almost set. NOTE: There should be no wet spots or liquid areas in the center of the cheesecake. Remember that a cheesecake continues to cook when it is removed from the oven.

Turn oven off. Let cake stand in oven, with door ajar, 30 minutes or until center is completely set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack before refrigerating. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours before cutting (the cheesecake will solidify to a perfect consistency during this time).

To serve, slide a small knife around edge of cake to loosen it and remove sides of the springform pan; transfer onto a cake plate.