This is my third Daring Kitchen challenge. During the last two, I noticed the other bakers’ presentations were much nicer than mine. I worked a bit extra on this aspect for April’s challenge, but I still need to gain more practice and confidence in terms of presentation.
© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved
Instead of making a regular cheesecake, I baked individual cakes in phyllo nests, somewhat like making cheesecake danishes. This made it much easier to share with our neighbors. I used four layers of phyllo dough for each cake, “painting” each layer with melted butter before adding the cheesecake mixture. After baking and cooling, I added blackberries and fresh mint leaves. My other change to this very easy cheesecake recipe was adding one tablespoon of cinnamon to the batter.
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/383 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.
You can find variations of this recipe (such as adding lavender) at Jenny Bakes. If you’re interested in joining us for our monthly baking and cooking challenges, you can all the information here.