The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I am not new to baking cheesecake, however, I was excited to see that it was chosen for April's Daring Bakers challenge. I am always on the hunt for the perfect cheesecake, mainly because I don't seem to ever like any I taste. S on the other hand, thinks that cheesecake is the bee's knees. He ranks it in his top 5 favourite desserts of all time (yes, he has a top 5). And it can't be just any cheesecake, it has to be baked. I really dislike baked cheesecakes in particular as they often get that chalky, mouth coating thickness about them. The trick is to only just bake it- it should still wobble when jiggled. Believe me, it will set up nicely once cooled.
We were given quite a bit of freedom for this challenge so I opted for a chocolate Oreo base, a lemon flavoured cheesecake, topped with a lightly gelatin set lemon cream glaze. Oh my god. This cheesecake was amazing. AMAZING. This is coming from she who would rather pass on dessert than eat a cheesecake. I actually feel quite ripped off; where has this cheesecake been all my life? Needless to say, S is over the moon that I too have embraced cheesecake now.
Abbey's Infamous CheesecakeOreo Crust1 1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs (about 25 Oreo cookies, cream removed and finely chopped)
2 tablespoon melted butterCheesecake3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature1 cup / 210 g sugar3 large eggs1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream3 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)Lemon Cream Glaze1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (21 tablespoons; 10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces2 gelatin sheets for half of the lemon cream mixtureLemon Cream MethodCheesecake Method1. 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 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.6. When the cheesecake is room temperature, pour the lemon cream glaze over the top. Refrigerate until set. It is best to serve this cheesecake at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge.