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Monday, April 27, 2009

April Daring Baker's: Homemade Cheesecake

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

Dear Fellow Daring Bakers,
i am sick with a vicious head cold so i don't have much to say. i can say that i loved this month's challenge. i've made homemade ricotta cheesecake before which turned out well, albeit there was a few cracks on the surface. this time around, there was a tiny crack. it did not bother me. i added kahlua to the batter and topped the cheesecake with a strong black coffee jello glaze. normally, i would have a slice and take the rest to work for my colleagues to consume but my new roommate is in love with it. :)

till next month, keep those ovens HOT,
Angry Asian

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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 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

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!

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13 comments:

  1. Very impressive. The coffee jello glaze looks great! Care to share the recipe for that?

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  2. What a gorgeous cheesecake! I love the coffee glaze!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Meeso -
    thank you so much, i worked really hard to make that glaze perfect. :)

    Jude -
    honestly, it sounds hard but really, i used the day's left over coffee, sprinkled in gelatin and poured over the surface of the cake. i was more interested in balancing out the creaminess of the cake with the slight bitterness of the coffee. thanks so much for stopping by! :)

    Rosa --
    thank you! the coffee really helped cut the sweetness of the cake, it was a great combination.

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  4. wow! look at the glaze on the cheesecake...YUM!

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  5. What a great idea and a lovely presentation!

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  6. Oh wow, what a gorgeous cheesecake. I love the idea of the coffee glaze.

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  7. Your cheesecake looks amazing! Wow, great flavor choice as well.

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  8. amrita, culinography, jo and debyi -- thank you!

    when the challenge was revealed, i knew i had to make the glaze on top and to make it as pretty as possible.

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  9. Deeba, thank you so much! and delcious it was! :)

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  10. Yum, I love this recipe with coffee, almost as much as I love it with citrus. The jello coffee glaze is really stunning.

    Jenny of JennyBakes

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