The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. I was really happy when I discovered this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was cheesecake. I love cheesecake, and I haven’t made one in a while. We were encouraged to be creative and play with the recipe. While I would’ve liked to have made this with a crapload of chocolate, caramel, or something else of the sort, my husband is more of a purist when it comes to cheesecake…nothing fancy or outrageous. The bottom line was I couldn’t eat a whole cheesecake on my own (I could have, but my ass which would’ve been sure to expand wouldn’t have been thanking me), so I had to concede and go rather basic. Ultimately, it turned out delicious! The texture was very creamy and light. This was a great recipe. It was a winner with the hubby as well, so I plan to use it again and will experiment with other flavors/combinations. Thanks to Jenny for hosting this month’s Challenge! Please also visit other Daring Bakers’ blogs to view their delicious creations.
I didn’t use a water bath as the recipe directed and opted to place a shallow container of water on a rack beneath the cheesecake. Here it is after cooling in the oven. Not one crack on this baby! I was happy about that :).
I served it with sliced strawberries with a bit of sugar added to them.
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake
- 2 c graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 T sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
- 1 c sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 t vanilla extract
- the innards of a vanilla bean
- 1 T vanilla-flavored vodka
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place one rack in the middle of the oven and the other rack under it. Fill a shallow bowl with water and place on the lower rack.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom and up the sides of a greased springform pan. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-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, vanilla bean innards, 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.
5. Bake for about 1 hour 20 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. 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.