Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers - Cheesecake

Daring Bakers April 2009 - Cheesecake Centerpiece

Cheesecake cupcakes

After a very sweaty but delicious March challenge of Daring Bakers Lasagna, April challenge was very relaxing and cool..

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

Cheesecake was very new to me as i had never baked a cheesecake before and had tasted it just once as one of my friend had forced me to try it as it was her favorite dessert. It was long time ago and i had almost forgot how it had tasted. I used to avoid buying cheesecake as just had in mind that, it would be full of cheese and would load me with calories.. And finally i ended up baking it for the Daring Bakers challenge and i had to bake it!
The challenge here was to bake not a usual cheesecake but we were given freedom to play with the flavours, the sauces and the topping. We had to make it look and taste unique and make it a showstopper of a dessert. Yes, it was another daring bakers creative challenge.

First thing i did was i stepped into a bakery and tasted a simple cheesecake. Just to get the taste of it so that i could think upon what kind of flavours i could use and with what i could decorate it with. Then i decided to pair it with cardamom, as somehow i felt it would taste more like our North Indian sweets where Indian cheese, Paneer is paired with cardamom and i loved that combination. For the topping i decided to use a vibrant colour which would go well with the light shade of the cheese filling. I then decided to use fruits, all kinds, berry's, banana, grapes.. I found this gelatine based strawberry glaze which i thought, i would use over the fruits. Finally i ended up with a rich, creamy and delicious dessert. I actually fell in love with it. I loved the combination of the base, the creamy cheese filling paired with cardamom and the stawberry glazed fruits topping. It was scrumptious.

The recipe would fit for a 9" springform pan but i had a 7" pan. So i used the recipe for one 7" pan and used up the extra with a muffin pan, where i got another 6 muffin shaped cheese cakes.

So here is the recipe..

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (I used zweiback)
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
3 cardamon pods, with seeds removed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)


2 Cups fruits, Chopped ( Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, banana, grapes)
250 ml Water, hot

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, cardamom seeds 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.

6. For the topping, spread the chopped fruits over the chilled cake.

Stir in hot boiling water with tortenguss and leave it for a minute for the flavour to infuse. Just pour the tortenguss liquid over the fruits and chill.

7.Just before you serve just take some left over crust mixture and pat the sides of the cheesecake with your hands, just to cover the sides evenly.

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!


Jo said...

Hi Ramya, the cheesecakes looks delicious and I like the fruit topping on it.

anna said...

I love your fruit topping! It's so colorful and tasty, and you can get away with calling the cheesecakes fruit salads now, right? ;)

Jamie said...

Your topping looks amazing!

Olga said...

Looks perfect for spring and summer! Love all the fruit.

Namratha said...

Loved your topping, perfect for the season!

ice tea: sugar high said...

Tortengus rot.. I never heard of that before.. I'm intrigued.

Your cheesecake is so summery. Great job!

George said...

Looks gorgeous!

Junie Moon said...

You did a fabulous job with this challenge. I love the fruit topping you did and the infusion of flavors you incorporated into the recipe. Outstanding!

Marija said...

Oooh, yummy! I'd like one cheese(cup)cake please! :)

Anonymous said...

Ramya, I remember oohing and ahhing over your cheesecake over at the DBK forum when you were one of the first to post photos of your it. I'm still oohhing and ahhing! The combination of fruits in the gel is gorgeous, and it looks so delicious and light!

Kelly said...

Cheese cupcakes! I love them! Your cheesecake looks lovely and rich. The fruit you selected will be a nice compliment. Beautiful job!

Vidhya said...

Cheesecake looks delicious and love the fruit toppings Ramya

Chris De La Rosa said...

Absolutely beautiful. love the idea of cup cake cheese cakes.

Screamin' Mama said...

Wow those little cheesecakes looks absolutely yummy! Thanks for sharing.

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! I love the topping that you used =D.

Deseree said...

Look at all of that fruit!! That looks amazing! Nice job on the challenge. :)

Chantal said...

Your cheesecake looks so cool!

Anonymous said...

I really love the fruit topping. Such a beautiful and yummy cheesecake! Congratulations!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Ooo, that looks so nice! And what a smart idea to pat on the crumbs just before serving! Putting the crumb into the pan before baking is such a pain!

Ricardo said...

Super loving cheesecake so spring like is an explosion of colours. :) xx

pixen said...

Hi Ramya, your cheesecake is so beautiful and yummy! I haven't make any cheesecakes in my life either. For your premier attempt, I said 2 thumbs up!

Your creation and skill encouraged me to do so. I bought a cheesecake book last week but haven't even look into it :-( After I typed this comment I'm going to read it!

Anonymous said...

Your mini cheesecakes look so enticing. The fresh fruit is a nice touch for a sweet dessert.

Irene said...

Ooh I love this adaptation! Especially nice are the cupcake-like cheesecakes with fruit on top!

Ramya Kiran said...

Oh yes anna, its definitely a Cheesecake fruit Salad.

The color is the magic of Tortenguss, its available as tortenguss only in Germany. I had never heard of it before but it worked beautifully for me.

Thank you all for dropping by and leaving your lovely comments.

Thom said...

Got to make your cheesecake recipes....they look better than delicious.

BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

Soma said...

Really Girl, I do not know how u guys do the challenge:-D This look so like Spring & absolutely gorgeous!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

wow, your cake looks fantastic! I love cheesecakes!!!

Anonymous said...

The little ones are so sweet. The topping looks over the top delicious. YUM!

Jenny said...

I love cardamom with fruit, and these look beautiful. I know I'm a month late, but thank you for participating in this challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

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