Monday, 27 April 2009

Daring Bakers: Cheescake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake- while I do enjoy it, its never something I order when out and the last time I made it was by request. I found this one to be a bit too cooked for my taste (perhaps my own cooking time error?) but see other pictures showing not a silken filling but curdling looking center. I adapted the recipe by only making one third. The crust is made with a crushed ginger cookie and I added ginger marmalade, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling.

The end result was nice, but not better than the last one I made from Nigella's cookbook!

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

crust:2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar1 tsp. vanilla extract
cheesecake:3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature1 cup / 210 g sugar3 large eggs1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream1 tbsp. lemon juice1 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.


Anonymous said...

I feel that there is a love or hate relationship folks have with cheesecake, I tend to LOVE it... one my all time favourite desserts. Good for you for doing the challenge even if you weren't interested in the final result! I often opt out of those ones!

Jamie said...

I love cheesecake, I will have to try Nigella's...yours looks good!

Anonymous said...

It looks yummy!

Allergy Mom said...

I really like the idea of a ginger cookie crust. Good of you to see the challenge through despite lack of inspiration! Libby

TeaLady said...

Cheese Cake is my overall favorite dessert and this one didn't disappoint. Sorry yours didn't work out for you. Like the ginger cookie crust you made. Yours looks yummy!!!

Jenny said...

I love the flavor combination you chose. Did you use a water bath? I wonder if that might be the reason. I definitely experienced a dryness difference between those I cooked in a water bath and those I didn't. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes