As you are reading this, my little one and I are on a transatlantic flight home, or perhaps even there by now.
This month’s Daring Bakers challenge almost didn’t happen for me, but I couldn’t let that happen after skipping last month’s lasagna recipe. I rushed through it and didn’t really have a chance to experiment much, but I did it and that’s what counts, right? Or so I hope!
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
We were given free range to try different flavors, presentations and decorations. I had a bit of pistachio paste leftover, but not enough to flavor the entire base, so I decided to make “bi-color” cheesecakes. Half pistachio and half vanilla with a chocolate cookie crust. Topped it with chopped pistachios and spun sugar. Although with the humidity here, I’m not sure if that was a smart idea.
After I made this base, I realized I still had a lot of raspberries leftover that needed to be eaten before our trip, so decided to make a small batch of cheesecake base and flavor it with some dried rose leaves that my friend Deb brought back from Morocco. She is such a sweetheart.
I thought cheesecake popsicles would be fun for the kids. Make sure to infused the heavy cream with the rose leaves for about 5 minutes, strain it and cool it before adding it to the base. The amount depends on personal preference as not many people like strong floral taste in their desserts, especially children. Also add fresh raspberries to the cheesecake base at the end.
I baked the cheesecake in shot glasses at 300F also in a water bath and they turned out great.
I promise to share photos from our trip soon. Laster arte!
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake
Chocolate Cookie Crust
2 cups / 180 g chocolate short dough crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
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)
1/4 cup pistachio paste
Preheat oven to 320F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
Place ring molds on a deep baking dish lined with parchment paper. Then we will place this baking dish inside a larger deep baking dish that will hold the water bath.
Mix together the crust ingredients and press a couple of tsp into individual ring molds. Set 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 to the cream cheese base and cream until smooth.
Divide the cheesecake base into two bowls. Add the pistachio paste to one and mix well.
Pour pistachio base half way up 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 pan that holds the ring molds.
Bake 15 minutes, until it is semi set but not completely baked. Remove from oven and pour the remaining vanilla cheesecake batter on top of the pistachio. Tap gently and return to oven and finish baking for another 20 minutes or so.
Let the cheesecake cool in the ring molds and refrigerate overnight before unmolding.