Monday, April 27, 2009

April Daring Bakers! Neapolitan cheesecake!

It's that time again and this month is a tasty one!

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

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (used  half regular half chocolate)
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 (used Limoncello)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, (used spiced bourbon)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 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.  

3(a). I split out 2 cup of batter and added 8 oz of melted dark chocolate, split out another 1 cup an added reduced strawberry mash (2 parts strawberry 1 part sugar) that I made, and left the remaining batter 'plain.'

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.

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!

This was easy to make, the batter was fabulous, and though I was skeptical that lack of flour would make it lack the structure needed to have height, it turned out great!

I love my own recipe, but  would I make this again?  OH YEAH... let ingredients, little difference in taste!

Because I wasn't sure that the batter with the added chocolate would bake well with the less adulterated batter, i baked that seperately and then added the vanilla and strawberry when everything was done!  Also, that's the only pic I have, the hubs helped himself to several of these single serving cheesecakes, needless to say, it ended up being dinner... 


~Amber~ said...

This looks amazing. The idea is awesome, I actually thought of the same thing! I have not had time to make mine yet but I hope to by the end of the week.

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! Neopolitan is an awesome idea =D.

breadchick said...

Neapolitan ice cream is one of my favorite flavors so I'm SURE I'd adore your cheese cake. The layers on yours are gorgeous.

nicole said...

Oh how cute! I love these! They look wonderful!

Jenny said...

I love what you've done with the recipe. The layers are beautiful. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes