Daring Baker April Challenge

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

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

The batter turned out very thin but it set up to a creamy texture after the cake had cooled in the oven. I only have two springform pans which are not water-tight, as I know from previous experience. So, no waterbath this time. I paired up the cake with some rhubarb-ginger compote. (The compote was a bit runny as you can see in the picture. I've reduced the amount of water in the recipe given below.) Even though I left the cake in the oven for two hours after baking there were some cracks. But these don't distract from the taste and give you a chance for a free-association game. If you like, just play along. What do you see in the crack pattern?

a lowercase lambda character

a failed stab of Zorro at his signature

a deer or antelope on the cave wall of some stone age Daring Baker

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
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 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 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.

For a half-recipe I used:
* 50 g sugar
** juice of 1 small lemon

Rhubarb-Ginger Compote

Inspiration: e&t Für jeden Tag 05/2008


200 g rhubarb
20g sugar (about one heaped Tbsp)
150 ml water
1 tsp freshly grated ginger *

Combine all ingredients in a casserole. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 min until rhubarb achives desired tenderness.

* The ginger can easily dominate the rhubarbs taste. Maybe add only half a tsp for the simmer and add more to taste while the compote cools down.

For more cheesecake extravaganzas take a look at the Daring Bakers Blogroll. And if you would like to tackle a monthly baking or cooking Challenge yourself head over to the Daring Kitchen. Take a seat, have a cookie.


Candice said...

I say lambda. Hah! :)

Even if your cheesecake cracked, I bet it was still really delicious.

Nikita's Mom said...

i say it's a deer (running away from something or maybe frolicking in the meadows?) LOL! great job!

Claire said...

:-) I saw lambda or a running man (without a head). You know...though cracks annoy the maker, I don't think those enjoying the dessert are concerned about it. Great job!

adventureswiththewoods said...

Lol It still looks great despite the crack, and the compote sounds delicious as well!

Dragon said...

Thanks for the laugh! Great job on this month's challenge.

The Benny's said...

Looks very creamy! Good idea with the compote

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A free-association game . . . I just see creamy, dreamy cheese cake! You really don't need a fancy dress when you're so good inside.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

But if I had to I go with Zorro !

Elle said...

Looks like a running man to me :) The rhubarb ginger compote is very wonderful for spring and I can imagine it would offset the serious richness of the cheesecake nicely. Lovely job!Looks yummy!

MeetaK said...

who cares about those cracks - i think together with the rhubarb ginger compote this would have been totally delish!

ice tea: sugar high said...

even with the crack, it still looks beatiful. Well done =)

Chantal said...

Glad your enjoyed it

melivanilla said...

Hi Andreas! Good choice for the accompaniment... rhubarb compote is a nice match. By the way mine cracked too... though I'm sneaky and only took photos of the sliced cake!

Jenny said...

Did you decipher the messages your cheesecake was trying to send? Hehe. Rhubarb must have been delicious with this. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Jenny said...

I say lambda or man without upper body running :)
Rhubarb and ginger compote sounds delicious, I'm definitely making now that we have rhubarb in overabundance here in Sweden. Nice work!