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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daring Cheesecake

The Daring Bakers have rolled up their collective sleeves and worked on the lastest challenge... cheesecake! The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

There isn't a lot of cheese cake in this house. Although we find it on every restaurant menu, we don't tend to order it. Usually we find the texture a bit pasty and the cheesecake sticks to the roof of the mouth. But, but, this cheesecake.... well, holy moly the texture was divine!

Jenny would be so proud of her friend for bringing another person over to the cheese cake side of life. The recipe was modified to be gluten free and booze free - booze on the side please, it packs a bigger punch! The original recipe can be found at Jenny Bakes or at the Daring Kitchen where there is a gorgeous slide show of some of the creations of our members.

Rather than contend with a potentially soggy crust, I bought disposable aluminium tins for smaller cheesecakes. The recipe made a total of 8 cheesecakes and each serves at least 3 people. The added bonus was that the baking time was cut in half because of the smaller cheesecakes.

Just Poured Cheesecake

Cheesecake based on Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

200 gram (1 & 2/3 cups) sweetened flaked coconut
60 mL (1/4 cup) flax seed meal
60 mL (1/4 cup) coconut flour (can be omitted but I had leftovers.... so in it went)
30 mL (2 tbsp) sugar
125 mL (1/2 cup) butter
5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

3 sticks of cream cheese room temperature
1 cup / 383 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp liqueur, optional

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together 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 & sugar in bowl of stand-mixer, cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl 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.

Ready for the Oven

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.

Note When cooked in one large pan, the cheesecake 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! The smaller pans required only 1/2 hour cooking and 1/2 hour cooling in the oven.


Styling my cheesecake turned out to be a gloopy mashed potato mess of a disaster. Even though the worst disasters make the best stories, my strategy was a cover up. The sprinkling of coconut and caramel sauce was my attempt at camouflage.

Quellia, the next time I complain about my heap of cake, I will take pictures!

Oops, my cheesecake had an accident... the shame... the shame...

Lessons Learned

1) Smaller cheesecakes save time and make more sense for portion size.

2) Take pictures of decorating disasters instead of just eating them. That way your friends can laugh with you.

3) Never judge a cheesecake by previous cheesecakes.

4) My new motto for my lack of decorating skills is "I don't play with your food before you do."


Me! said...

my version of decorating was sprinkling almonds over the top and cutting away the sides of the aluminum pan so i could get the slices out.

Chantal said...

Those portions are adorable...I'm loving lessons learned 2 & 4 :)

Lauren said...

Accident or not, your cake looks awesome. Great job on this challenge =D.

Jenny said...

Hehehe that's right, take pictures just for me!
Course now that you've found a cheesecake you like, dairy is on the no-no list. :-(

Dharm said...

Accident? what accident??!! I love your lessons learnt - especially number 3!! Great Job!

Abbey T. said...

Glad to know I've made a cheesecake-convert out of you! (This is "the" Abbey, btw) I never liked cheesecakes in restaurants either, which is why I decided to make a recipe of my own and tweak it until I was happy. Your gluten-free rendition sounds divine (I love coconut!).

Sorry you had trouble with styling - I saw you used my cheat of the throw-away foil pans. Did you try and scoop it out of the pan, or just cut the foil away to get it out? If you didn't cut the foil, try that next time - it works like a charm and (best of all) there's no pan to wash! :-)

nicole said...

Aw, I love the little snowflake!

Arlette said...

Hello Mary

for an accident your cake looks so cute, and delicious!!!!
at least you enjoyed and played

JMom said...

I loved the texture of this cheesecake too! I really liked it that it was the fluffy type rather than the dense kind.

I'm not much of a decorator either, compared to the other daring bakers so don't feel bad. I love your presentation photo though, nice save!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

I love the fact that you used little cases.LOL on lessons learnt!!Good for you!

Jenny said...

Beautifully done! I think the cutaway pan was a great tip that Abbey gave, but I also liked mine in smaller ramekins too.

Thanks for taking part in this challenge. I have fulfilled my destiny, winning people over to the cheesecake side one by one. ;)

Jenny from JennyBakes

farida said...

I love your idea of baking small portions of the cake. Nicely done!

Anonymous said...

Coconut and caramel sauce are always good ideas - I'll have to remember that for next time I need some hiding help!
I love the idea of mini-cheese cakes - helps with portion control!

Lis said...

I dunno what you are talking about? What mistakes? That adorable cheesecake flower is the cutest ever! :)

And I must disagree with lesson No. 2.. Definitely take photos to share the "fun" but ALWAYS eat the mistakes afterwards. :D


Jeanine said...

Well, I think you covered up the oops quite well! Your cute little snowflake cheesecake is really cute! :)