This month's challenge is one of my favorite things to bake. Once in a while I would obsess over making the perfect cheesecake, and would bake one recipe after another until I reach the point where I can't eat cheesecake anymore. I remember the first time I ever baked cheesecake, my sister and I used the recipe on the inside packaging of a Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Our family loved it so much that even my little brother learned how to make it eventually. Since my family is such big fans of cheesecake, I decided to serve this at a family dinner. I know we were suppose to do some type of creative topping but we love a simple strawberry topping and really experience the flavor and texture of the cake itself. To put a bit of edge, I used cognac in the cheesecake batter.
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake
- 2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. vanilla paste
- 1 tbsp cognac
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
- 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.
- 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 cognac and blend until smooth and creamy.
- 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.
- 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.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.