Hey everybody! Because everyone here is always so helpful, I was hoping I could shoot a couple of questions your way!

I'm a beginner and I'm just starting to take my very first steps with cheesecake. I've made these cookies-and-cream cheesecake cupcakes a couple of times; they are very tasty, but the sour cream flavor is soooo prominent, I'm wondering what even its purpose is and if I could swap it for anything else.

And for Thanksgiving, I took a practice run at a "spiced cheesecake with a chocolate-ginger crust" that I got out of Ladies' Home Journal:



Crust: 12 oz chocolate wafer cookies; 3 tbsp granulated sugar; 2 tbsp canola oil; 6 tbsp melted butter; 1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger

Filling: 4 8 oz package cream cheese; 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tbsp finely grated ginger; 1 tsp cinnamon; 1/4 tsp nutmeg; 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 4 eggs; 2 egg yolks



The flavor is great, but I'd really like to improve the texture of both the filling and the crust if I can. The filling is very creamy and very, very soft, but I prefer firmer, denser cheesecake. How do I make that happen? As for the crust, it came out a bit... crunchy? As the cake sat that improved a little, but any hints on how to make your favorite cheesecake crust would be very appreciated!
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