The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Ok, I really slipped this one in right in the nick of time- today is the Daring Bakers reveal day and I actually woke up and made this cheesecake this morning and let it chill all day before decorating it, snapping a few pictures of it, and serving it! The recipe was for a very simple, basic cheesecake with a graham cracker crust but we were given instructions to do whatever we wanted to flavor it and make it our very own creation! So, because I am not fancy and or experienced with cheesecakes (I can't stand cream cheese so I NEVER eat or make cheesecake!) I made an Oreo crust, a chocolate cheesecake, a little chocolate sauce, and some good old fashioned whipped cream and called it a night. I think my cake turned out remarkably cute although extremely cliché looking! haha! Sort of like those cakes you see in the refrigerated cases at the bakery section of a grocery store! OH well!
Although I could not bring myself to eat a slice- it got rave reviews from my entire family. Here's a little secret: I used 16 oz of 1/3 fat cream cheese and 8 oz of regular full fat cream cheese and nobody noticed! The recipe is so simple and so versatile that I know I will make it again and again because everyone loves cheesecake (besides me). The cake is baked in a water bath to prevent cracking. There was a lot of debate about how to keep the water out of the spring form pan so that the crust doesn't get water-logged. I followed the advice to place the spring form pan into a larger cake pan and then placed that into the water bath- it worked great! I had no cracks and the crust was very crisp.
I ended up with a lot of extra batter so I put a whole Oreo in the bottom of a muffin liner and filled them with about two spoonfuls of the batter. They baked in about 25 minutes and there was only one crack casualty in the whole dozen:
My husband can't seem to keep his hands off the cheesecaklettes because they are just so easy to pop in your mouth and you don' t even need a knife and plate to eat it.
Thank you Jenny for a very good recipe- and be sure to check out the Daring Kitchen to see the amazing variety and astounding results that the Daring Bakers had with this cake!
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
adapted by Emily Rose
2 cups / 180 g Oreo crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
6 oz. chocolate melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
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.