The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
For this month's Daring Bakers' Cheesecake challenge, I made a double layered vanilla and orange cheesecake with spun sugar and carmelized lemons on top. My original plan was to make a variation along the lines of dulce de leche but went with Orange instead... a colorful, fruity cheesecake better suited the early Spring that came to POZ this year :) So like i said in my older posts, "I've never been a fan of cheesecakes. A few bites are okay, but trying to finish a big slice can be torturing sometimes. Some are just so thick and concentrated that even swallowing can be a problem". Yep, this cheesecake did exactly that... But if rich, creamy cheesecakes is what makes you happy, then this recipe is exactly what you're looking for. So as I didn't have much fun making / eating this challenge, I decided to try something new to compensate for this cheesecake letdown-- Spinning Sugar! I'm not going to go into details on the spinning since this IS a cheesecake post... but if you're interested, the website and the instructions of spun sugar can be found here. I had a lot of fun spinning nests and they upped the cheesecake beauty scale tenfold. My floor, however, turned into a huge caramel mess ... definitely gonna think twice before i try rthis again next time XD.
(with a Double-layered Orange cheesecake variation)
a Daring Bakers' Challenge
- 2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
- 2 tablespoon / 24 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 680 grams / 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup / 210 g sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon liqueur (optional) but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
- ORANGE CHEESECAKE variation:
- 1/3 cup orange syrup
- Red food coloring
- Yellow food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
- 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 [pictures 1, 2]. Set crust aside.
- 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 [picture 3].
- Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg [picture 4].
- Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and liqueur and blend until smooth and creamy [picture 5].
- 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 [picture 9].
- 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 [picture 10].
- 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.
- After mixing all cheesecake ingredients together, seperate the mixture equally into two seperate bowls. Add 1/3 cup of orange syrup into one of the bowls, mix well [picture 6].
- Add both red and yellow food coloring into the orange syrup cheesecake mix until it reaches an orange color [picture 7, 8].
- Pour the basic white cheesecake mix onto the crust and carefully spoon the orange cheesecake mix over the white one.