>> Sunday, April 26, 2009
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I was so happy to find out April's challenge. Cheese cake is definitely my family favorite cake.
I wanted to combine the cake with some fresh fruit, so I thought strawberries, the red color with the white cake and the chocolate cookies will make a great combination.
I used chocolate cookies for the crumbs
this cake tasted so good it was difficult to get a picture, since everyone wanted a piece.
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (I used chocolate cookies)
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
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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.Strawberry Topping
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
Place sliced strawberries in a food processor, cover and process until smooth.
Dissolve the gelatin with hot water and mix it with the strawberries.
add the sugar and mix until dissolved.
Top with the strawberry filling and refrigerate for 4 hours.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat; heat the sugar until golden brown, reduce the heat and add the lemon juice, mix all the time.
drizzle the caramel over the strawberry topping and with a fork make strips and circles for design.