Daring Bakers and Rushing Through a Cheesecake

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

Cheesecake Base

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.

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87 Responses to “Daring Bakers and Rushing Through a Cheesecake”

  1. Your creations are marvelous, as always! What refined cheesecakes!



  2. Tartelette says:

    They turned out beautiful!
    I hear you about the spun sugar, I made strawberry chips that just stuck to everything it was so hot here!

    Have a safe trip!

  3. Both varieties are incredible! I love the idea of the popsicles and the pistachio-paste ones came out just beautifully. Bravo!

  4. Nicole says:

    I love the popsicles. So many varieties. I need to join the Daring Bakers one of these days. I’m always so intimidated though.

  5. Dominique says:

    Just gorgeous…as allways! These look delicious. Thank you…

  6. morgana says:

    Qué maravilla, Aran. Como siempre, riquísimo y super creativo. A mí este reto me ha costado un triunfo porque no me gustaban nada estas tartas, pero reconozco que salen tan buenas que me he reconciliado con ellas ¡¡ Gracias a las Daring Bakers !!

    Espero que hayas tenido un estupendo viaje y que lo pases genial en casa. Estaré al tanto para ver las hermosas fotos que seguramente harás.

    Muchos muchos besos.

  7. Vera says:

    Have a wonderful trip, Aran! Your cheesecake creations are absolutely fabulous!

  8. Lisa says:

    I love how you said you wouldn’t have time to do much with the recipe and then posted 2 different variations of the cheesecake. Wonderfully done! Have a fantastic and safe trip!

  9. Elissa says:

    Your photos are beautiful as always… And the cheesecake looks divine. Love pistachio!

  10. Tanya says:

    The pistachio cheesecakes are gorgeous, but I’d love one of those cheesecake pops! Those sound so good. Beautiful work!

  11. Katie says:

    Stunning as always. Your flavours pairings are wonderful.

  12. Even if you were short on time, you were definitely not short on creativity. Very nice….as always. Have a great trip. Always nice to go home….

  13. Christy says:

    Have to say that your rushed attempt certainly looked better than my calculated one!!

  14. idu says:

    Kriston itxura dute tarta hauek Aran! ikusteko bezain onak izango dira jateko.
    Astebururako eguraldi ona datorrela dirudi!

  15. Sam says:

    The popsicles. What a great twist.

    Photographs are utterly lovely as always.


    Sam @PrettyLovely

  16. veron says:

    gorgeous as usual, Aran!

  17. vibi says:

    Beautiful! The colors are so fresh and Spring-like! …and what to say about the presentation! WOW!

  18. Marta says:

    You’re so lucky you had access to rose petals! I miss working with those so much, but it’s just impossible to find them in Canada! Combining the pistaccio with the vanilla and chocolate was a great idea, they go together so well, I’m sure it taste heavenly! I wish my rushed cheesecakes look like yous :)
    Have a fun and safe trip!

  19. RecipeGirl says:

    What a gorgeous little experiment! Have a safe trip!

  20. Seanna Lea says:

    I have some food quality dried lavendar that would work well for a cheesecake base and some tall shot glasses. How well do they come out of the glasses? Those look like a lot of fun!

  21. Zita says:

    Hope you arrived safely…. the green pistachio cheese looks super delish… perfect colour for spring :)

  22. Yum says:

    That’s gorgeous, the popsicles attract me a lot!

  23. Ash says:

    Love LOVE the ice pops!!! I need to make this!!

  24. Gorgeous cheesecakes, Aran. I was really looking forward to your post as you sat out last month, and I’m certainly not disappointed. You c an do a whole lot when you’re in a rush!!

    I love your pale spun sugar. Very ethereal.

  25. Hayley says:

    Your creativity is quite amazing. Those popsicles are great. Thanks for sharing!

  26. The cheesecakes look gorgeous. I love what you did with the popsicles.

  27. they look like birds nests :)

    mmmm arrrrrrr i want a popsicle now, lucky kid!!!

    don’t forget to take photos of your families bakery!! i am a pest!! :P

  28. cindy* says:

    even your rushed cheesecake is impeccable aran! what a sweet little something from deb too, love the pops!and, i don’t think i’ve mentioned how much i l-o-v-e that green background you’ve been using. lovely, lovely!

  29. Juliana says:

    Love the idea….and great pictures!

  30. Aprés avoir vu la version de Rosa, j’attendais la tienne qui me réjouis au plus haut point.

  31. Coming to your blog is like sitting in a porch swing on the perfect summer night, drinking something delicious. I just feel better, calmer. A delight as always.

  32. Prue says:

    Have you heard of Persian Fairy Floss – it looks like spun sugar and it SO pretty for desserts. It makes a great alternative for the spun sugar and the name is just so gorgeous.

  33. Lauren says:

    Mmm, your cheesecakes look amazing and very far from rushed!! Beautiful job =D

  34. Y says:

    Oh cheesecake popsicles are a great idea! I love cream cheese ice-cream and this could be an interesting alternative, seeing as I don’t own an ice-cream maker.

  35. anna says:

    These are both awesome flavor combinations, and so pretty! The cheesecake pops look great.

  36. Cupcake says:

    Your cheesecakes are beautiful!

  37. Arlette says:

    Wonderful and beautiful combination and taste…
    I love Pistachios too…
    and popsicles too. oh wow

  38. PheMom says:

    Oh my. Those cheesecake pops are the prettiest pops I’ve ever seen!

  39. I love the cheesecake popsicle idea – it sounds wonderful! And I kick myself each time someone uses pistachios, because it just sounds so good. Glad you squeezed this one in, and enjoy your time at home!

  40. Anonymous says:

    i love all your recipes, esp. because they introduce me to new things – in this case, ring molds. how does one go about unmolding the cheesecake after it is cooled? also, is there any book you can recommend about the more technical side of baking?

  41. Cakebrain says:

    wow! the layers in your mini cheesecake are beautiful! and the decorations add gorgeous visual texture!

  42. Em says:

    How cute! I love your cheesecake popsicles! Of course your pistachio & vanilla one looks amazing too. Very well done!

  43. Holly says:

    Beautiful as always! I love the cheesecake pops, what a great idea!

  44. Zerogluten says:

    Como todo lo que lleva tu sello, personal y elegante.
    Espero que el viaje haya ido bien. Cuanto me gustaría poder conocerte en persona y pedirte disculpas por lo pesada y preguntona que soy.
    Disfruta mucho de tu familia y de tu tierra.
    Muchos besos sin gluten

  45. Dada says:

    Great pictures and very very appetizing…you are really talented!

  46. Awesome blog , very refreshing to see and amazing photography, love it all

  47. Your blog delights me. My dream is to eat your desserts one day.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Your husband misses and loves you and his son!! C

  49. Helene says:

    Beautiful pictures, hope you have the best trip.

  50. Espero que lo paséis muy muy bien.
    Un besazo

  51. Y eso dices, lo has escho con prisa?! Pues imaginate si hubieras tenido tiempo, jejeje! Me encantan las picoletas, estan geniales! Que lo estes pasando bien en casa. Un besito.

  52. Nikki says:

    wowow these look sooo cooling. I love the colours!!

  53. FatBanker says:

    Goodness me, your photos are beautiful, I am full of admiration and a tinge of jealously!

    Keep up the good work

  54. Sugar Chef says:

    What a great idea for the cheesecake pops and the layered cheesecake, brillant.

  55. mary says:

    I love the two-layer look, and the greens and pink of the popsicles are both perfect for spring!

  56. I love those popsicles! My daughter will be delighted…and she’s old enough to help!

  57. farida says:

    You are so creative! well done, as usual.

  58. Lisa says:

    Those amazingly creative, beautiful, mouth watering and perfect cheesecake creations are RUSHING for you? Those would take me hours and hours, and they probably wouldn’t even turn out. I’m in complete awe! :)

  59. Jill says:

    I might actually eat one of these cheesecakes! Love the pops. How sweet of C to read this post and comment. Miss you-guys.

  60. I can’t think of anything that sounds more decadent than cheesecake popsicles.

  61. jodye says:

    Everything is so beautiful, I just want to eat it all!

  62. if this is what you came up when you’re rushing, oh my, can’t even imagine how wonderful creation you can came up with when you have a lot of time. You’re the most amazing baker Aran!

  63. Jeremy says:

    I feel like a kid in a patisserie when I come here!

    Happy travels…but come back soon!

  64. Cakespy says:

    This is truly a cheesecake to dream on! Wonderful work as usual.

  65. Fabulously creative twist on the cheese cake recipe. Equally lovely photographs.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  66. i could just die in your photos! looks very delish:)

  67. Trey West says:

    These look sooo good. Was it hard to make? I just started on The 100 Caloie Diet. They look like the perfect size for a dessert portion. Anybody know of any calorie count for these? Please post if you do… :)

  68. Ivy says:

    How whimsical!
    How do you make that spun sugar?
    Please e-mail me.


  69. i love the popsicle idea!!! and so colorful :)

  70. Like little pillows of dreams being spun…BEAUTIFUL!! I tried spinning sugar once…& that’s the end of my tale…LOL! Have a wonderful vacation Aran. Hope your naughty little fellow is having a whale of a time!

  71. Aran says:

    Thank you everyone!

    I apologize if I have not been able to respond to all your questions sooner.

    Anonymous- to unmold the cheesecakes from the ring molds, you should freeze them and then use a blow torch to loosen the sides. it comes right out!

    Ivy- Here is a link to a recipe of spun sugar I did last year. http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/2008/09/chamomile-and-vanilla-bean-ile-flotante.html

  72. Jenny says:

    Beautifully done. And your pictures are so full of light, lovely. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker’s Challenge!

    Jenny of JennyBakes

  73. I love the photo of the bowl of berries (:

  74. juliana says:

    tus fotos y tus ideas para transformar pasteleria no dejan de sorprenderme!
    hermosas las fotos de las vacaciones!

  75. Hi – What kind of pistachio paste do you use? I see it in a lot of your recipes… do you use sweetened or unsweetened? Any particular brand that you like?


  76. Aran says:

    The Disenfranchised Voter- I have used both sweetened and unsweetened pistachio paste. For this I think I used sweetened (Agrimontana) since it’s what I had then. Thanks!

  77. michael says:

    Cheesecakes has been one of our family’s favorite dessert of all time. I love this recipe and so does my whole family. Thanks for sharing to us this great recipe. It went really well with our cappuccino Great pics too!

  78. Incredible ! Both varieties are very good !! I really like the layers in your mini cheesecake are beautiful! You have done very good decoration. I ate similar type of cake in my Orlando tour.

  79. Winnie says:

    So adorable! I love using pistachios in desserts. I was just wondering.. how many little cheesecakes does this recipe make?

  80. Louise says:

    I look forward to making these cheesecakes since my husband loves pistachio and I just bought some bronte pistachio paste. A few questions. What size rings? Do you think it would work in a traditional spring form pan? if so, what size pan for the amount of batter? thanks so much!

  81. Sabrina says:

    This recipe is like the best thing that ever happened to me! im absolutely obsessed with pistachio in baked goods. Thank you so much!
    Pistachio paste is so hard to find though so I end up just using almond paste and adding pistachio extract.
    I was inspired by this cheesecake and ended up making a half pistachio, half rose cheesecake for my best friend’s birthday (recipe on salongourmand.blogspot.com). It wasn’t quite as pretty as this one but it was delicious!
    I’ll be sure to actually follow this recipe next time!!
    great blog!

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