Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Kitchen Challenge.....

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

I love cheesecake and this challenge was to take a basic recipe and put your own creative twist on it. I decided to make a White Chocolate Lemon Curd Cheesecake, yummy!!!

Here is our starting recipe:

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake
crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cheesecake:
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
DIRECTIONS:
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.
I made my crust from 15 lemon sandwich cookies and 1/4 cup melted butter. To the basic cheesecake recipe I added the zest of 2 lemons and used lemon extract instead of vanilla. I melted 10 oz. of white chocolate, let it cool and added to the final batter. I swirled about 3/4 cup of lemon curd in the batter and then poured into the prepared pan. My cheesecake was done in 45 minutes, the center still jiggled a bit; happily it did not crack! I let it chill for 2 days, then poured lemon curd on top and finished with some whipped cream!!! Loved this challenge, so did DH, we are having seconds as I post, LOL. This challenge was really fun, you can tailor the recipe to what ever your tastes desire; very adaptable. If you would like to see more variations on a cheesecake check out the blog roll at the Daring Kitchen!!!



11 comments:

Tracey said...

Yum! That look so good!!

Cristine said...

I want a slice! That looks fantastic! Great job!

The Food Librarian said...

This looks perfect! The cream on top is fantastic!

Amanda said...

O M G

I have to try this, it looks so fabulous!

Dorie said...

The cheesecake is beautiful -- like everything you make. You are really such a very, very good baker.

pinkstripes said...

Looks wonderful! I love the lemon.

Fit Chick said...

OMG, I got a Dorie compliment, too cool!!! I am honored.

Laura Rebecca said...

Your cheesecake looks delicious!

Nichi said...

That looks so yummy!

TeaLady said...

White Chocolate AND lemon curd. REally over the top. Looks fantastic!!!

The Bahens said...

White chocolate sounds like the perfect addition!