Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Kitchen April 2009 Challenge: Cheesecake

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

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

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/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
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.

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.

28 comments:

Storybook Woods said...

Yummm, I love the idea of baking it in phyllo nests xoxox Clarice

newlyweds said...

What a great idea to bake in the phyllo, your presentation is beautiful!

Kristie said...

Beautiful! And I like the added texture of the phyllo crusts. You have very lucky neighbors.

Heidi said...

Oh, to be one of the lucky neighboring recipients of your fantastical projects...

sassypriscilla said...

Those are beautiful! What a nice presentation and I think they phyllo was a great idea.

albertaphotography said...

what a great idea to use phyllo sheets instead of graham crust for making individuals. You have a very creative mind ... oh and I think your presentation is very pretty and appetizing.

anna said...

Yum! Awesome concept. Phyllo sounds like it would go perfectly against the creamy cheesecake.

meg said...

Omgoodness! Those recipes sound awesome- so good that I didn't have these during my cooking frenzy this weekend, since the calorie count was already sky-high :-S

Gina said...

Cheesecake is my favorite. I could eat a whole cake by myself. :)
You shouldn't have anything to worry about presentation. I love how yours looks. It's very unique.

Yummers! said...

I love, love, love cheesecake!! By putting it in phyllo dough you've just given it an A+ in my book.How on earth do you get all done that you do?? You are amazing!!

Can't wait to hear all about your scrapping interest. I'll help you in any way I can.

Memoria said...

Well, you got what you wanted - originality and flair! This look really nice and creative!! Great job!

lisamichele said...

What an amazing job, Junie..so original and gorgeous. I've had cheesecake in phyllo before, and I love the creamy/crunchy aspect of it - and yours looks perfect! Kudos!

Dragon said...

Your cheesecake is gorgeous! Great job on this month's challenge.

Elissa said...

This is a great creative idea, makes for a stunning presentation!

Connie W said...

Looks like something I would love, love, love. Pastries are one of my weaknesses.

Christine said...

Looks like a delicious little package of cheesy goodness! Creative and well done!

shenry said...

oh man, you made me hungry!

Elle said...

Your presentation is lovely! Great idea to do the phyllos nests to hold the cinnamon cheesecake. Yum!

Celeste said...

What a cool idea! I love the phyllo nests! Great job on this month's challenge!!!

singinghorse said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a very nice comment! God knows I love phyllo dough. I love anything baked in it. Your cheesecake creation is definitely my favorite this month. :) I'm looking forward to baking more things together in the coming months.

PS: Excuse my tardiness in replying because we were on the road for the past two days and we just got to a hotel an hour ago.

Lauren said...

I love your creativity =D!! Your cheesecake looks amazing!

Claire said...

I think it looks fantastic and sounds quite neat. I can't help but think that it was hard to keep the cheesecake batter inside the phylo! Great job.

Audax said...

what a great idea using phyllo. Wonderful pixs. Thanks for the nice comments on my blog. Cheers

Jo said...

Great job and well done. Such an interesting concept in baking the cheesecake in a phyllo. I am sure they made great individual dessert servings.

ice tea: sugar high said...

yum! great idea on the phyllo nest, gives it a different texture contrast. Well done

Monica said...

Those look devine and very time consuming..lol!
I had misplaced your blog for a while , glad I found you again :)

Jenny said...

What an interesting idea, and it makes for a beautiful presentation. I'd love to bite through the crispy shell into the creamy cheesecake. Thanks for being a part of the challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a wonderful idea to use puff pastry and make individual cheese cakes to pass out to your neighbors, June! They look delicious.

I may have to pass on this month's DB challenges unless I can catch up with gardening and other spring chores. Busy days are happy days!

Have a very happy Mother's day Sunday!

hugs, Pat