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

Sweet
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

Savoury
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:
crust:
2 cups / 180 g Graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cheesecake:
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
DIRECTIONS:
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.

83 comments:

Eat4Fun said...

Audax,

You went all out. Pedal to the metal on this challenge!

Sweet combinations and savory combinations all look great. Oyster sauce too!

You did a great, great job on this months challenge. You let your creativity shine through.

Cakelaw said...

What a super duper selection of cheesecake flavours Audax. Well done!!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

YOU GO GIRL...this is fun all the way & so creative! I love whay you did with the challenge...gorgeous!

Lis said...

Fantastic job! I was amazed at all of the interesting flavors you went with.. bravo!

xoxo

Little Miss Cupcake said...

I just love all the flavor combos you came up with and the cakes came out so colorfully. Great job!

Jude said...

Wow. Such an impressive array of colors and flavors. Great job!

Elissa said...

Your flavor combinations are incredible! The sweet ones sound delicious but I'm mostly curious about those savory ones... like mushroom and the tomato one. Lovely!

cookemila said...

audax por tu nombre y por lo colorido...tu si que te has atrevido

Ria Mathew said...

OMG!! Look at those beauties dressed up in pink,white etc! Simply amaaaaaazing!!!!! Great work Audax!!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, what great cheesecakes! I love their color and flavorings! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rachel said...

You sure are daring to do an array of flavours.Very impressive.

Lisa said...

Audax!
You are a genius with the most original twist on cheesecake EVER!!

LegalAlien said...

I can't stop looking at these pictures!
I'll probably end up printing them and pinning them up in my kitchen!!

Kudos to you!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

What an amazing array of cheesecakes, Audax! It's like a rainbow of cheesecake with them all sliced for serving.

I think I'd have to go for the carrot, honey and coconut. Gorgeous combinations!

Elle said...

Amazing! All of those flavor combinations and beautiful color contrasts, too! Lucky high tea guests. I like the sound of the savory combinations as much as the sweet. Great job!!

Dharm said...

Wow! So many different flavours! You really outdid yourself here...

Linsey said...

I love how bright and colourful your cheesecakes turned out. Wow. You really made cheesecake your own. Kudos!

Isabelle said...

wow ! c'est trop trop beau ! on dirait les couleurs de l'Arc en ciel !

kat said...

Love all the colors!

vibi said...

Love, love, love all those colours!!! Beautiful, vibrant, whimsical, sweet and super cute!

Very, very well done!

art and lemons said...

Wonderful palate of cheesecakes. My vote is also for the carrot, coconut, and honey for the sweet, and the beetroot, potatoes, and onion for the savory.

Lori said...

Look at all the combinations just from you alone. You were very busy indeed. Beautiful job. Now can you please pass a sample of each one so I can have a taste. I am particularly interested int eh the garlic and lemon grass one.

bonobocakes said...

I personally love your "painters palette", I bet it really appealed to your palette! Very nice job Audax---

Jenny Tan said...

They look awesome! And it's so interesting to learn about the savory cheesecake & their ratings!! :)

Erin said...

Thank you for such a warm welcome! Your cheesecakes are beautiful as well, so colorful!

Lisa said...

OMG. Aud, you really took this one OTT, and the results are not only stunning in color, but your creativity with the flavor combinations is mind blowing! I want a sample of all of them! AMAZING job!!!

bakergirlcreations said...

Wow! Those look amazing! Your guests were very fortunate to have enjoyed your culinary delights.

Hannah said...

Oh I just love all of the different colors! What a fun approach to the challenge. :)

Basht said...

They look amazing.
I'm completely blown away right now.

alana said...

Wow. Amazing as usual. I'm now thinking of throwing a little cheesecake high tea myself, just so that I can try out all of these flavors!

Jill of Jillicious Desserts said...

Your pictures are great! I love all the combinations you came up with.

Olga said...

SO Cute!!! Thanks for giving me the inspiration to do my challenge in the muffin form as well.

Love all the colors.

peasepudding said...

Amazing Aud, all those different combination of flavours! You must have had a lot of fun creating them. I would have like to have been in your kitchen sampling them!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecakes look amazing!! I love that you made so many flavours!! The rainbow of colours are awesome =D.

Jenny said...

Audax-

I feel like you were co-hosting this challenge. Your early achievements really set the bar high, with your unique flavor combinations and beautiful colors, and you gave great advice in the forums.

Thanks for being such an inspiration!

Dragon said...

You are so creative! Great job on this month's challenge.

Arlette said...

What a collection of flavours and colors, so creative...
great job!

ice tea: sugar high said...

I feel like in cheesecake heaven.. The flavours. You've surely outdone yourself. Fantastic job!

DJ Karma said...

Boy, you were busy! Love the artists' palette of cheesecakes- beautiful and so creative!

Suzy said...

Wow..I think you get the prize for creativity! Awesome flavor combinations and the colors are great. Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

Mary said...

You did an amazing job with this cheesecake challenge. I'm sure the guests enjoyed all of them.

raistlinette said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments on my journal. Cheesecake was the perfect way to kick off spring.

I love the rainbow of colours your cheesecakes came in and I am especially interested in the use of champagne essence. Thank you for trying out all of those flavours for us!

Marisa

Michele said...

Hi,

I love, love, love all your gorgeous, colorful cheesecakes! Wow! Well done.

Melinda said...

Fabulous job Audax! I love that you gave your audience a choice of flavours and you came up with some great combinations. Sour cherry sounds great, as does the cafe latte version (if only because it's similar to the cheesecake combination I did). Love to know how to score an invitation to your high teas - they sound like great fun!

Junglefrog said...

So many flavours!! I'm totally impressed!! Since this was my first cheesecake I kept it simple, but your post is inspiring me to try out all sorts of other flavours! I baked mine in a regular tin, but I will definitely go for the smaller forms next time to give myself more room for experimenting. It looks lovely!

Joy said...

Those are so pretty...well done! The Ode couldn't be any more fitting. That's awesome! :) Thanks for dropping by my site and leaving a comment, I appreciate it!

Lori said...

I wish that I had such made such creative flavors! Great job!

Junie Moon said...

Wow! I love what you did with this challenge. Not only does your end results sound wonderfully delicious but all the colors are so pretty, too.

Landon said...

You really got creative! Plus, how fun to have an excuse to do a cheesecake tasting with all these colorful varieties.

Ninette said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by to comment on the mango cheesecake, and I also used another recipe you gave out for the current cook's challenge, which worked out great. I like the idea of these mini cheesecakes. So cute!

The Benny's said...

Beautiful presentation and colours!

Chantal said...

Ok so you went totally cheesecake coo coo. Really interesting flavour profiles

madcapcupcake said...

Audax, beautiful job! I don't know where to begin - the colours!! the flavours!! Such a pretty array of choice. Chocolate and coffee is next on my list, to be sure :)

awoz said...

Wow,never taster a salty cheesecake before.
What a lovely combination of colour...ands I am sure taste

singinghorse said...

Thank you very much for visiting my blog! I love all of your cheesecakes. I remember thinking to myself how nice it would be to eat all of your cakes when I saw all of those flavors (sweet and savory). It was a very satisfying and edifying journey looking through your recipes for this month's challenge. Thanks for sharing!

PS: Excuse my tardiness in replying because we were on the road for the past two days and we just got to a hotel an hour ago.

Deseree said...

I love that you did so many different types of cheesecake for this challenge! Nice job!

JMom said...

Wow, you really did get creative! I love the rainbow of flavors you came up with. What gorgeous colors!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Dude...those are some kicking flavors you've got going on! And you are right, this is a timely challenge to help ease the pain of exams!

Jenny said...

I'm stunned by this creativity! I thought I was crazy to make five flavors, but you did loads more - sweet AND savory! I'm especially intrigued by the savory ones - they sound absolutely delicious!

anjelikuh said...

wowwwwwwww, you went all out on this challenge!! This is probably the only blog i've visited with SAVORY cheesecakes.......HOW HARDCORE is that!? wonderful job... you got me curious.. i wonder how each flavor tastes like! most probably, fantabulous.

Anita said...

What a fantastic selection of cheesecake flavours and colours!

strawberriesinparis said...

wowie! You are a crazy creative baker my dear! Those are awesome

Chow and Chatter said...

wow you are creative I have never heard of savory cheese cake

Nawal said...

Hi,
For sure you're the Queen of the CheeseCakes : Bravo !

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Wow those cheesecakes looks awesome. You totally went all out on this challenge! The flavor combination's you used all look super tasty. I also love the vibrant colors of the different cakes.

Zoe Francois said...

These are so much fun! I am making them for a summer party out on my patio. What a fabulous idea!!!

Esther said...

I love the various colours and I'd been toying with trying some savoury ones too so i might just steal one or two of our flavour combinations and have a go!

rashelie said...

What lovely colours. There's nothing better than multicoloured food, great job!

wütende Bäckerfrau said...

Wow, these look awesome!!
Savory cheesecakes are something I haven't tried, I would totally try these.

CECIL said...

I love simple plain cheesecake but after reading all your savory ones - oh my!! I am salivating!! Sounds so delicious!

glamah16 said...

I bet the tea was wonderful. Love the colorful array you made. Very special.

shellyfish said...

You sure pulled out all the stops! I love the idea of the savory version - I need to try me that!

tasteslikeburning said...

Audax,
I am positively blown away by the creativity you displayed in this challenge! All the flavor combinations, both sweet and savory? Incredible! And the pictures are lovely too - all the colors... brilliant.

This is the Abbey behind the recipe, by the way, and I just wanted to thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I'm so excited to be joining Daring Bakers, and can't wait to see more of your creations.
-Abbey

Aparna said...

H, your variety of cheesecakes (and that you're almost always the first to do every challenge) never ceases to amaze.
You are a very enthusiastic Daring Baker, and a very good one too.

I wonder whay when there's so much cheesecake here, the word verification wants me to type out "lessness"! :D

Faery said...

Only Audax could made this delicious selection of flavors and colors, Fabulous job.
In my town the cream creese desapeared I went to all the supermarkets and the chinese and Italian stores and nothing...
:(

CookiePie said...

WOW -- amazing job! They ALL look fantastic!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

The sour cherry sounds good, and it has a great colour. Have you made savoury cheesecakes before?

pragmaticattic said...

Wow, Audax, I'm blown away by your creativity.

I love the colors you were able to create and the flavor combinations sound amazing.

Great idea to layer flavors with the crust, filling, and topping.

anudivya said...

Those are cuties! So pretty, that I can't seem to take my eyes off the colors and cute shapes.

Jamie said...

I am just amazed! Amazed!! All those colors and all of the flavor combinations are simply intriguing. Hats off to the work and creativity!

Sue Sparks said...

Absolutely amazing!!! So many wonderful flavors and beautiful to look at too:)

Anula said...

Hello to The Strudel Master :) You made so many of them! They all look great and so yummy! Unfrotunatelly it's still raining here :( but I'm at work today so I don't mind ;) Cheers!

Zayas said...

I bet the tea was wonderful. Love the colorful array you made. Very special.