Sunday, April 26, 2009
Daring Bakers' Cheesecake
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake
April's Daring Bakers' Challenge Recipe
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Time to get creative!
The real challenge in this month's was to take the basic recipe and play with it. Make it UNIQUE. Make a show-stopper of a dessert. Add flavour, sauces, decorations – dress it up and show it off and make it our own.
WOW POW WHANG what a response Jenny got from the Daring Bakers nearly every flavour combination under the sun and every topping beautifully presented. The Daring Baker's really went to town using Abbey's very easy and very forgiving recipe. I just love the thin batter which combines with any flavour base and the cheesecake is light and fluffy unlike the usual dense cheesecake that inhibites some cafés and restaurants. The cheesecake is soft with shiny crisp crust and not too sweet. They are better at room temp.
Ode to the cheesecake
Cheesecake, that's one I can't make.
Makes me salivate.
Makes me grovel, mate.
Don't hesitate - give me the cheesecake!
I will celebrate and I will dedicate.
My last bite of cheesecake.
To my taste buds, which I will placate.
With your fine cheesecake.
by J. G. Fort Knox, KY
It seems that the batter is too thin but it sets beautifully. I did a whole selection of flavours since I had high-tea (silver service) to do and I gave the guests their choice of flavourings (it had to be three flavours) and I got some great combinations. My choice was carrot, honey and coconut. I would of keep the recipe very simple if it was for myself but it is nice to have special treats for friends at a party it adds to the excitement. I did muffin sized cheesecakes and they took 30 minutes to set in the oven and one hour of cooling. The colours are all natural I used purées or shavings of the flavourings. I did 2/3 of the recipe this made 12 muffins.
Here are the flavours I did for the high tea there where six tasters and the following is in order of preference we judged out of ten and I averaged them
10/10 Dark 85% cocoa chocolate, coffee beans & molasses
9.5/10 Sour cherry, a touch of raspberry & champagne essence
9/10 Coffee latte, Baileys Irish Cream, caramel
9/10 Lime, kiwi fruit and star fruit
9/10 Coconut, honey and carrot
8.5/10 Blueberries, peaches and almond
10/10 Roasted garlic, honey and lemon-grass
9.5/10 Salmon, poached pear and dill
9/10 Caramelised onion, roasted tomatoes and chives
9/10 Crab, walnut and Stilton cheese
8.5/10 Mushroom, soya sauce and oyster sauce
8.5/10 Beetroot, potatoes and spring onion
When you are doing cheesecakes think of there being three layers - the crust, the filling and the top - each can be used to flavour the final result. For example the savoury "crab, walnut and Stilton" cheesecake I used a walnut crust, crab and cream cheese filling and a Stilon cheese topping.
In the above photo
Red is sour cherry, a touch of raspberry & champagne essence
Light green is lime, kiwi fruit and star fruit
Bottom brown is coffee latte, Baileys Irish Cream, caramel
Blue is blueberries, peaches and almond
Light yellow is coconut, honey and carrot
Top brown is dark 85% cocoa chocolate, coffee beans & molasses
Here are the other flavours I did which where savoury.
1st Left Roasted garlic, honey and lemon-grass
2nd Left Caramelised onion, roasted tomatoes and chives
Central "left over" batter from the sweet versions
Behind central multi-coloured cupcake Beetroot, potatoes and spring onion
Extreme Right Mushroom, soya sauce and oyster sauce
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g Graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 sugar (for savoury 1/4 cup sugar)
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!
**Cheesecakelets - put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.