Cheesecake for the Daring Bakers challenge-April ‘09

by Sunita on April 27, 2009

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

The month of April has been a bit crazy for us. I nearly missed joining in the challenge. In fact, I managed to get my act together just yesterday. But, I’m glad I did. And I also seem to have put on some extra pounds already…looking at it does add the pounds too, doesn’t it ? But, seriously, I’ve been stuffing myself with much more cheesecake than I should….can’t remember the last time I had so much of it. To be honest, cheesecake does not make it’s ppearance in our household that very often; I’ve probably made it just three or four times. But, I’m really glad I made this one …it went down very well with us.

The recipe is actually quite easy and the best part was that we were given a great deal of freedom to experiment with different flavours. One could really let one’s creative juices flow on this challenge. That, my juices were not as overflowing, is another matter altogether ! Here’s the recipe we had to follow-

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 / 210 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.

What I did –

crust-

I used digestives ( Mc Vities)

cheesecake-

I used quark for the cream cheese

Dressing up-

I stuck to the basic recipe but added a chocolatey theme to my cheesecake or rather cheesecakes to dress them up …after all, chocolate does make everything better, doesn’t it? Well, at least I believe so :-) I made one 7 inch cheesecake…and a few smaller ones in ramekins. I also made some crustless.

For the bigger one, I just decorated with a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

For some of the smaller crustless ones, I melted some milk chocolate and poured over them. When the chocolate was firm, I cut the borders neatly and turned them upside down, so that they looked like they were in chocolate cups.

For the little ones with crusts, I just drizzled some melted chocolate.


And I also kept one plain and added a little chocolatey touch.

I did have various flavours in mind, when the challenge was announced, but, I guess, that will have to wait for another time!

As I said earlier, the cheesecake was a success with us. Even Dinesh, who is definitely not keen on cheesecake, actually had seconds. Rengoni absolutely loved it, and Agastya, well, he had a bit, which was okay, as he doesn’t like it at all ! And I did tell you about me stuffing my face with it, didn’t I ? ;-)

Enjoy!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa April 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Your cheesecakes are all beautiful and very tempting! I love the pretty decorations! Marvelous!

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Vimala April 27, 2009 at 7:57 pm

WOW!! ..they look good and have come out very well.

Will try it sometime,

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3 sreelu April 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Sunita,

Looks so delish, would love to try it, I always end up having a little bit of egg smell, how do I get rid of it ?
Any suggestions

Sreelu

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4 snookydoodle April 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

oh these are adorable and they must be delicious too :) yummy . I love how you decorated and got creative with them ;)

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5 Candice April 27, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Those are really pretty! I love that last photo of the bit on a fork. Yum.

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6 Coffee and Vanilla April 27, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Sunita,
They are absolutely adorable!! All of you Daring Bakers will make me go crazy today… all I can think of now is cheesecake!!!
Have a nice evening, Margot

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7 Andrea April 27, 2009 at 9:21 pm

I love the chocolate decorations and the little chocolate cups. They are so adorable!

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8 Kitchen M April 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Wow! You have made a lot! They all look soooo good!

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9 Claire April 28, 2009 at 12:02 am

These look great! I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge. I think that McVities sound just wonderful for the crust.

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10 Jude April 28, 2009 at 12:08 am

Great photos and end result. Can’t argue with you for choosing chocolates with cheesecake :)

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11 Memoria April 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

Oh! That last photo killed me! Your photos are so tempting. Great use of DoF. I want them all!!!!!

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12 Namratha April 28, 2009 at 1:31 am

Woah, that’s a lot of cheesecake!! :D Loved the chocolatey ones…mmmm

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13 Dragon April 28, 2009 at 1:34 am

You are so creative! Great job on this month’s challenge.

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14 Ramya April 28, 2009 at 1:50 am

Love cheesecake and I am so tempted to have it all… Nicely presented…

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15 Soma April 28, 2009 at 2:14 am

Really liked your crust less mini chocolaty ones.. I am not a big fan of cheesecakes, but love the looks of it.

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16 Medhaa April 28, 2009 at 2:33 am

Love the idea of the chocolate cup they are so cute, lovely presentations.

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17 rachel April 28, 2009 at 3:12 am

All of them are beauiful. The way you did the Chocolate cups are so neat.

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18 Maya April 28, 2009 at 3:50 am

Wow, am a cheesecake lover, and you’ve gone all out to make us drool…I like them all!

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19 asti April 28, 2009 at 4:11 am

yessh.. chocolate will make anything better. Great creations. Love the chocolate cups =)

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20 Simran April 28, 2009 at 4:45 am

So many chocolate variations! All your cheesecakes look lovely

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21 Lisa April 28, 2009 at 5:50 am

Those are some the most beautiful cheesecakes I’ve ever seen, and your photos are amazing! Lofve the chocolate toppers too! Phenomenal job all around!

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22 priya April 28, 2009 at 6:14 am

can i have the little bit that you left on the fork in the last pic…….pls pls………..it looks so yummy

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23 Nirmala April 28, 2009 at 6:43 am

Oh the creative juices are really overflowing …am talking about the chocolate cup-cheesecakes Sunita :) They were too much for me to drool enough !

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24 Meeta April 28, 2009 at 6:44 am

lovely creations and you know i agree with you chocolate always makes us feel better! so gimme one!

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25 katie April 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

Wow all your cheesecakes look amazing. I love the mini chocolate cup ones though.

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26 Sia April 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

I am not a big fan of cheese cakes but looking at ur stunning creation i might change my mind! :) gorgeous pics, Suni!

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27 sandeepa April 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Sunita, love, love, love the ramekin version of the cheesecakes. beautiful shots. You should ship them international

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28 deeba April 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm

JUST BEAUTIFUL Sunita…really really nice. I love the variation in the little ones too. Did you make the quark?

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29 Lisa April 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I rarely eat dessert, but cheesecake is a favorite of mine. Just beautiful. I can imagine how much you and your family enjoyed this treat.

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30 mark April 29, 2009 at 3:52 am

Wow all your cheesecakes look fabolus. I love the mini chocolate cup ones though.

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31 Sunita April 29, 2009 at 6:32 am

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments…this was a really yummy challenge :-)

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32 jo April 29, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Absolutely beautiful and so delicious. Well done.

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33 Christina April 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Wow! Your cheesecake is beautiful! And the mini ones covered in chocolate, OMG!

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34 Madhumathi April 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

your cheesecake looks gorgeous!!

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35 Chantal April 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

AWESOME!!!! They’re all so beautiful! Wonderful photos.

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36 Ivy April 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Wow, all of them look beautiful and your photos are amazing.

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37 JennyBakes May 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I’m about a month late, but wanted to say that you did beautifully on this challenge. The full size one looks perfect and the individual ones are charming. I am also now following you on Twitter, so I’ll be back!

Jenny of JennyBakes

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38 piyali October 14, 2009 at 6:28 am

Hi Sunita,

Can this cheese cake be made using sugarfree for diabetic patients?
Can you please post a receipe for any sugarfree cake?

Thanks

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39 Kaylee Lopez October 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm

i’d love to munch those very big cheesecakes, they are really tasty and sweet*~*

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40 Nivedita August 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

i am big fan of cheesecakes and dying to bake the same at home since i moved back to India from UK…but getting all the ingredients is itself a challenge here..love your posts…

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