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Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake

Created by Eli himself in his restaurant’s kitchen, it’s the real deal - the original Chicago-style cheesecake. It’s easier than you think to make Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake at home: Make the shortbread cookie crust (our signature), mix the batter, bake, and chill.  For best results, be sure to follow each and every step (especially scraping down the sides of the bowl, and the slow cool-down in step 10) and you can enjoy Chicago’s favorite dessert in the comfort of your home.

 

Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake

Servings: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:PlainCheesecakeIngredients
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons)|168 grams cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup|70 grams confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups|260 grams all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake:
4 (8-ounce|225 gram) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup|232 grams granulated sugar
1/4 cup|40 grams cake flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large whole eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup|180 grams sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DirectionsPouringPowderedSugar
1. Make the shortbread crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

2. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on low speed until mixture is fully incorporated. Add the flour and beat on low speed until the mixture is fully incorporated and the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough to a 1/4-inchDockingDoughForCrust thickness. Use the pan as a template and trim the dough the fit the pan. Carefully lay the disc of dough inside the pan and press down, fitting evenly. Using a fork, prick the dough to ensure even baking. Place the pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

4. Make the cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming.

5. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cake flour, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add the contents of the medium mixing bPouringBatterIntoCrustowl to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.

6.. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add first the whole eggs and then the egg yolk to the bowl, one at a time. After add each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue beating on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.

7. Add the sour cream and the vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth. The mixture should be well blended, but not over beaten.

8. Heat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease and flour the springform pan and pour the batter into it. Place the springform pan in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the cake 180° to ensure even browning.

9. Bake for 15 minutes more, and again rotate the pan 180°. The cake should be starting to soufflé and should be light in color. Continue to bake for 10 minutes more, for a total of 40 minutes at 375°F.

10. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F and leave the oven door slightly ajar. The cake should be golden brown and lightly souffléd on the sides. Leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes more. (This step and the two that follow allow the cake to cool to room temperature gently, preventing cracking.) Give the cake a gentle shake; it is done if the center of the cake jiggles and the surface of the cake is slightly firm. Turn the oven off and open the oven door wide. Leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

11. Loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan by sliding an offset spatula around the inside ring. Remove the springform pan from the cake and transfer to a plate. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

12. Transfer to the freezer for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.

13. Slice the cake with a thin, non-serrated knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each slice. Serve immediately with fresh fruit or store in the freezer well wrapped for up to 3 months.

 

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An Important Message From The President of Eli’s Cheesecake

To our valued customers,

Our highest priority at Eli’s Cheesecake is the health and safety of our associates and our customers. As we navigate COVID-19, we wanted to share an update with you on the steps we’re taking to take care of our people and continue to deliver high quality desserts to our customers.

  • As of now, our bakery floor is fully operational. Eli’s Cheesecake is a GFSI certified bakery – that means we’re held to the highest standards of food safety in our production facility. In addition to the steps we already take daily to maintain our excellent food safety record, we have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing across our facility, particularly in high traffic and high touch areas. As always, we continue to be vigilant about hand washing.
  • For our customers in Chicago, we are closing our café and retail store to the public starting today. However, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, you can order our desserts for delivery and curbside pickup via Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats or you can order here for curbside pickup, or call 773-205-3800. You can also find us at your local grocery store.
  • For delivery nationwide or locally, Eli’s Cheesecake and desserts will continue to be available at shop.elicheesecake.com or by phone at 800-999-8300.

As Eli would say, “charity will never bust you.” That sentiment is more important today than ever – it’s up to each of us to do our part and look out for each other. At Eli’s, our team is working with hospitals to provide Eli’s Cheesecake to the workers who deserve all of our appreciation. And we’re continuing to provide desserts to local food banks to feed those in need. We will continue to assess this challenging situation, adapt our response, and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local authorities.

As a third-generation family business, we cannot thank you enough for your continued support. We’re all in this together, and we’ll get through this together.

-Marc Schulman
President, Eli’s Cheesecake

Messages to Mom Contest – Official Rules

 

As part of our celebration for Mother’s Day, we want to encourage fans to share a special message for their mothers on social media. Using the hashtag #ElisMomDay, participants can share their special message, essay or video via Instagram. The maximum word count for the message or essay is 250 words.  The maximum length for the video is 1 minute. Participants must make their entry public in order to be viewed. Entries for Eli’s Mother’s Day Giveaway will be accepted between April 25, 2020 and May 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm CT.  On May 6, two selected winners will be announced on our website and social media platforms. Winners will each receive a 9” Eli’s Mother’s Day Chocolate-enrobed Daisy Cheesecake, sent anywhere in the continental US. Entries will be judged in two categories – Funniest and Most Sentimental.

The Prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges from all qualified entries on or about May 6, 2020.  In the event that the original prize winners do not meet Official Rules or eligibility requirements, or he/she forfeits the Prize, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company will award the prize to a first alternate.  Process will continue until the Prize is awarded.  Name of the winner and their respective entry will appear on The Eli’s Cheesecake Company website, and social media pages.

The decision of the judges and The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is final.  Winners will be notified by direct message or email and must meet all eligibility requirements.

OFFICIAL GIVEAWAY RULES

This giveaway is sponsored by The Eli’s Cheesecake Company. No purchase necessary to enter or win. The giveaway is in no way sponsored by nor associated with Instagram.

TERMS

Eli’s Messages to Mom begins on April 25, 2020 and ends May 4, 2020 at 11:59p.m. US Central Time (CT). Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these official rules (“Official Rules”). By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the Official Rules and warrants that his or her entry complies with all requirements set out in the Official Rules.

WHO MAY ENTER

Contest is open to any individual in the United States. Employees of The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and its affiliates, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, whether or not related are not eligible. CONTEST IS VOID OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter, participants must submit a message to their mom through Instagram, with the hashtag #ElisMomsDay. On May 6, two winners will be announced. The entry must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsor, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

CONTEST PRIZE

Two winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges, one in each category: FUNNIEST and MOST SENTIMENTAL. Each winner will receive a 9” Eli’s Mother’s Day Chocolate-enrobed Daisy Cheesecake, which will be shipped to his/her house, in the United States. No prize transfer, assignment, or substitution by winners permitted. If a prize (or part of a prize) is unavailable, the Sponsor, in its discretion, reserves the right to substitute the original prize (or that part of the prize) with an alternative prize to the equal monetary value and/or specification, unless to do so would be prohibited by law.

WINNER SELECTION

Two winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges, one in each category: FUNNIEST and MOST SENTIMENTAL. There will be a total of two winners, which will be announced on May 6, 2020. Selected winners must contact The Eli’s Cheesecake Company by 11:00 am CST on May 7, 2020. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit and a new winner will be chosen.

OTHER INFORMATION

Sponsor assumes no responsibility for entries it is unable to process due to network, hardware or other technical failures, or any other reason, or incomplete, damaged, misdirected, illegible, stolen or lost entries.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person suspected of tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise, in violation of the rules.

The winning entries will be posted on Eli’s Cheesecake’s Official Instagram page on May 6, 2020, and the winner will be contacted.  In the event that a winner does not claim their prize, a new entry will be named the winner.

In the event of a dispute regarding the online entry, entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of an established e-mail account associated with the entry.  “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet Access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address.

By submitting an entry, the entrant gives Eli’s Cheesecake the right to use the photo and their name on any form of media, including, but not limited to Eli’s Cheesecake’s website, , Instagram, The awarding of any prize is contingent upon full compliance with these Official Rules.  Entrants agree to be bound by Official Rules. Entrants understand that Sponsor is not liable for injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising from participation in this Contest and acceptance, possession and use of prize. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the contest or in the announcement of the prizes. Decisions of Sponsor are final and binding in all respects.

 

Celebrating Founder’s Week 2020

Eli-Schulman-with-Cheeseakes

Founder Eli Schulman

In 1980, Eli Schulman declared cheesecake would be the signature dessert for his legendary Chicago steakhouse, Eli’s The Place For Steak. His unconventional fast and hot baking method resulted in the creation of “Chicago style” cheesecake: a beautiful caramelization on the outside and a creamy consistency on the inside, baked on a shortbread cookie crust. What began in Eli’s restaurant’s kitchen has grown into one of the country’s largest cheesecake and dessert bakeries.  Still a family owned business, all Eli’s Cheesecakes are handmade at Eli’s Cheesecake World, located on Chicago’s Northwest side. Eli’s attributes its success to a strong commitment to quality, empowering its workforce and following Eli Schulman’s mantras “Charity will never bust you” and “Treat others as if you were the other.”

MatzoBallSoup

Matzo Ball Soup

Founder’s Week will pay homage to this great man and his eponymous dessert, by featuring Eli’s original four cheesecake varieties (Original Plain, Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Raisin and Hawaiian),  at Eli’s Bakery Cafe, retail store and online.  The cafe will also be serving up a different lunch special each day, based on Schulman’s most popular dishes from Eli’s Stage Delicatessen,  located at 50 E. Oak Street, from 1962-1968 and Eli’s The Place For Steak, located at 215 E. Chicago Avenue from 1966-2005. Selections will include matzo ball soup, the wedge sandwich, corned beef sandwich and Chicken Vesuvio.

 

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Barbra Streisand enjoying a corned beef sandwich at Eli’s Stage Deli

For kids, there will be an Eli’s illustration coloring contest all week long, grouped by age.  Winners will be notified on Monday, January 27th, and receive a 9″ cheesecake as their prize.  In honor of Schulman’s birthday, January 22nd, mail order will offer 22% off Original Plain and Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes all week, the Cafe will offer the four original varieties by the slice for $2.20 all week, 22% off all sizes of Original Plain and Chocolate Chip, all week, and on Wednesday, January 22nd, free slices of Original Plain and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake in the Cafe, all day.

 

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Marc Schulman with daughter Elana

Founder’s Day week will culminate on Saturday, January 25th, with a meet and greet with Chicago’s First Family of Cheesecake:  Eli’s son, Marc Schulman, President of Eli’s Cheesecake and his daughter, Eli’s granddaughter, Elana Schulman, who recently joined the family business after a career as a producer in New York and attending culinary school. The Cafe will be decorated with historical photos, including many of Eli’s giant celebratory cakes, such as the 2,000 lb. ones baked for both President Clinton’s and President Obama’s Inaugurations, the Hamilton the Musical closing cake, the Taste of Chicago Birthday Cake and Illinois Bicentennial Cake, to name a very few. Also, pose for a photo with Eli’s mascot, “Slice” from noon-3:00 PM. Enjoy the presentation, a dessert tasting and coffee, Free, 1:00-2:00 PM.

 

6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive, Chicago

773-205-3800

 

Goodbye to Hamilton in Chicago!

We were honored to create a giant cheesecake for Hamilton‘s closing night party at the Wit Hotel in Chicago on January 5th.  Special thanks to Mayor Lightfoot (whose inauguration we celebrated in May with a giant cheesecake slice), producer Jeffrey Sellers, and star Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton).

If you were lucky enough to experience Hamilton in Chicago, you might’ve tried our “Revolutionary Pyes.” Inspired by 18th century desserts, we created a special box of miniature apple and cherry “pyes” (the proper spelling for the 1700s) that were exclusively available at the concession stands during intermissions.

Best of luck to the cast and crew, and thank you for an amazing run!

 

 

Eli’s Celebrates James Beard Eats Week, April 26 – May 6, 2019

CoconutCakeWe’re proud to participate in James Beard Eats Week: 11 days of dining, celebrating James Beard and his great cooking legacy. Guests can enjoy a delicious James Beard inspired lunch from  April 26 – May 6, 2019, (Monday- Friday only) from 11am to 2pm

“As a bakery, we focused on dessert first and were happy to discover that James Beard’s favorite cake was a coconut layer, one of our family favorites as well.” said Marc Schulman, president of Eli’s Cheesecake.  “I have never forgotten my early birthday cakes. Blessed with an insatiable taste for coconut, I always wanted a cake piled high with it.” James Beard, James Beard’s American Cookery.   Eli’s Coconut Cake would surely have been coconutty enough for the great chef.  Eli’s confection is comprised of five layers of coconut cake, frosted with coconut buttercream, and covered with toasted coconut. ($4.50 per slice)

TamalesTwo main courses, Tostadas De Piccadillo: Tostadas with picadillo (ground beef), pickled red onion, watercress, crema, and salsa verde ($7.95) and Homemade Chicken Tamales with Romesco Sauce ($2.50), both inspired by Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen (2018 James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award Winner) will also be offered.

“Having the City of Chicago, along with Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association host The James Beard Foundation for its 29th Annual James Beard Awards is a huge vote of confidence recognizing Chicago as a culinary center.” added Schulman.

Only available April 26-May 6, Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm at Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe, 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive in Chicago. Please call 773-205-3800 for more information, or for reservations.

Toatadas

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 20 Years of Service at Chicago Help Initiative

HELP 2019_1 HELP 2019_2 Eli’s Cheesecake’s Chef Antonio, along with President Marc Schulman and our associates Juana, Juana, Mary, Jessica, and Maria had the privilege to serve a wonderful dinner to the guests at the Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) on Wednesday, April 4th. Thank you to our amazing associates for preparing a delicious barbecue dinner and serving our Hot Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert.

 

CHI began in November of 1999 when local Realtor Jacqueline B. Hayes invited various volunteers from her community to work together to provide for the increasing number of homeless in the area.  CHI provides access to food, health services, shelter and employment, and educates our neighbors on how to help the homeless and disadvantaged, with dignity and compassion. Eli’s the Place for Steak was the first restaurant to provide dinner when the group was first founded. We are a favorite of the guests for the quality of the food, dessert, and service. We also welcomed representatives of American Airlines from O’Hare Airport, who helped with arrangements and serving the guests.

 

Eli’s has been honored to provide food for this event for the past 20 years and we look forward to a long partnership in the future. Visit the Chicago HELP 2019_3Help Initiative to learn more.

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The Eatin’ o’ the Cheesecake with St. Paddy’s Day Desserts from Eli’s

It’s one of our favorite holidays of the year! Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in style with our cheesecake and beverage pairings this holiday season:

 

IrishMintStPats2019In Chicago, we dye our river green…at Eli’s, we turn our cheesecake green! Irish Mint Cheesecake is a fan-favorite that we only make for the season. Minty green cheesecake studded with chocolate chips and topped with chocolate ganache.

For the coolest presentation around, use Irish Mint Cheesecake as a fun freakshake ingredient and garnish. What’s a freakshake? It’s a milkshake decorated with the craziest, most over-the-top garnishes imaginable.

In a blender, mix 1 slice frozen Irish Cream Cheesecake, 1 cup milk, and two large scoops of ice cream (vanilla or mint) until smooth. Dip the rim of a glass in melted chocolate and roll in green sprinkles. For the garnish, add to a wooden skewer: marshmallows, a fudge brownie, and kiwi chunks, topped off with a whole slice of Irish Mint Cheesecake.

 

 

 

 

Creamy smooth Irish Cream CheesecakeIrish Cream Cheesecake is baked in a dark chocolate crust and layered with chocolate ganache for the ultimate flavor contrast.

Jennie C., our resident mixologist, recommends enjoying a slice with a quick and simple cocktail: Add to a glass mug a shot of Irish Cream liqueur, 2 shots of brewed coffee, and fill the rest of the glass with milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 11.20.48 AMMeet the 2019 Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Queen Madeline Mitchell and her court at Eli’s! Enjoy free dessert and beverages. Friday, March 8, 2019. 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive, Chicago.

“Just Judy” Book Signing at Eli’s Cheesecake

Eli’s Cheesecake is delighted to host Joseph Topinka, son of the late State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, for his book signing at Eli’s Cheesecake on Friday, January 11, 2019. 

“Just Judy” is the first book written about Judy Baar Topinka’s journey through motherhood, politics and life. “I wanted to tell a story about a woman who took on the establishment and succeeded as no other woman has done in Illinois. She did not always win, but she never gave up in life, whether as a child, mother, student, newspaper reporter, legislator or state level leader” said author Joseph Topinka.

The book is designed to aid students in understanding the state government and inspire them to get involved, complete with a teaching guide for educators.

Eli’s remembers Judy as a woman who not only broke through glass ceilings, but was a friend to everyone and a fan of Eli’s Cheesecake. 

Judy Barr Topinka Serving Eli's

Judy Barr Topinka Serving Eli’s

As State Treasurer, Judy Barr Topinka created the spring tradition of Eli’s Cheesecake Day in 1993; a day in May when legislators, guests, lobbyists and state employees would all celebrate with Eli’s Cheesecake at the Illinois State Capitol. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias kept the tradition alive when he took office and it continues to this day. Always a loyal Eli’s fan, Judy even wagered Eli’s Cheesecakes in a bet with the North Carolina state treasurer Richard Moore on the outcome of the 2005 NCAA basketball championship (in which our Illinois team lost).

Please join us at Eli’s Cheesecake, 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive on Friday, January 11, 2019 from 2-4:00 pm in the Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Café.  Joe will have books to sign as well as memorabilia from Judy’s life.  Eli’s Cheesecake and desserts will be served. 

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Chicago’s own Eli’s Cheesecake tapped to make Illinois’ Official Bicentennial Birthday Cake

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Governor-elect JB Pritzker are scheduled to make a joint appearance at the state’s 200th Birthday Party on Dec. 3, at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, the same date in 1818 when Illinois became the nation’s 21st state. And what’s a birthday without cake? The Bicentennial Committee has invited Chicago’s own Eli’s Cheesecake to create the State’s official bicentennial birthday cake.

Eli’s pastry chefs are baking up a 1,000 lb. Honest Abe Apple Cheesecake, a nod to Abraham Lincoln’s favorite fruit, in the shape of the State Capitol Dome. Yes, it’s all real and will be served to party guests after The Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays Happy Birthday and the Governor and Governor elect cut the cake. Ingredients include: 575 lb. cream cheese, 90 lb. sugar, 65 lb. sour cream, 65 dozen eggs, 2 lb. vanilla, 60 lb. shortbread cookie crust, 53 lb. fondant, and 75 lb. apples!

Eli’s made a smaller version of the cake when the company was named an Illinois Maker by the Illinois Tourism Office during the Governor’s Conference in Springfield (below).

The Bicentennial Celebration is on Monday, December 3rd at 7:00pm in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom.

 

Eli's Cheesecake Illinois Capitol Cake

The Lincoln Family with Eli’s Exec. Pastry Chef Laurel Boger, Eli’s president Marc Schulman, and Cory Jobe, Director, IL Office of Tourism

Eli's Cheesecake Illinois Capitol Cake

Eli’s Cheesecake’s Illinois Capitol Cake