The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Oops I accidently missed posting day yesterday, so putting it up today, I've just been so busy recently its unreal, I've got exams starting in 2 weeks, I'm performing in a worldwide breakdancing show in a month and just generally have had so much to do, that's why there hasn't been as much up recently, but I really wanna get back to baking. However I really wasn't gonna miss this Daring Baker's challenge, to be honest, baked cheesecakes have never got right for me, I've tried to make a few in my time : a chocolate one that turned out tasting sour and the consistency of sausage, a mint one that didnt cook all the way through, a mango one that had lumps of gelatine in it..it just wasn't going right for me.
It was quite ironic that the challenge was cheesecake..I've just got back from Florida where I spent many a night at the Cheesecake Factory...a place I believe to be the best restaurant ever!! Anyway my plan for this challenge was to make a cherry cheesecake with a cherry filling on top..however it didn't really turn out like that..as the first cheesecake was also disastorous..it didn't cook properly and ended up tasting a bit funny. I wasn't going to let this get me down though and was determined to get it right so within the next few days I made my banana cheesecake..wow is all I can say..it eventually turned out right..it was creamy and the right texture..cooked perfectly and I topped it with a tasty Starbucks Caramel Sauce.
Biscuit Base mm
Cheesecake in fridge overnight
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs *I used digestive biscuits*
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 g 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 *I didn't add this*
*2 Mashed Bananas*
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.