Monday, April 27, 2009

Did someone say Cheesecake?????


Woohoo! it's that time of the month again.
I have to admit after sitting out of last month's challenge I was ready to go for this month. I am so glad we had a great recipe to play around with for our challenge, all credit going to Jenny and her Abbey's infamous cheesecake recipe.
For my cheesecake I went with a little bit of an Italian flair. I stole a few ideas from David Rocco. You know who I'm talking about ladies, that gorgeous Italian man that parades around Florence speaking Italian and looking hot while doing it oh... and he cooks. Anyways he featured a Ricotta Torte one episode and ever since then I've been hooked.


BTW, P if you read this, you are short 1 bottle of Obikwa Shiraz. I needed it for my pears. Thanks.

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


Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

Crust:
2 cups amaretti crumbs
1 stick melted

Cheesecake:
2 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each room temperature
1 tub ricotta, drained
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. 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.

Poached Pears:
1 bottle red wine: when I say 1 bottle, pour 1 glass for yourself and then the rest of the bottle in the pot
5 tbsp sugar
5 pears, peeled

Bring wine and sugar to a boil.
Place pears in syrup for 15 minutes
Turn off heat and let steep for 3 - 4 hours
Take pears out and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use
Boil wine syrup until the consistency is thick, place in bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Makes about 1 cup of syrup once reduced.


6 comments:

Thymes of Change said...

Sounds great, can't wait to see pics! Maybe you should go to our house and use one there? See you soon, we drive back on Thurs-Friday!

jessicajlee said...

Your pears look like slices of ham.

Or is it ham? Ham 'n' Cheesecake?

<3 Love you!

Madam Chow said...

I am so amazed at the flavor combos people come up with- this looks so elegant!

NOT SO VANILLA said...

Thanks Madam Chow! This challenge really was a great one!

NQN said...

The pear looks fantastic on top of the cheesecake! Great job! :D

Jenny said...

The poached pears sound so delicious, and your cheesecake looks very creamy! Sorry I'm so late in commenting on your post. I'm determined to make it to every one of the 1k+ Daring Bakers, it is just taking me a while.

Jenny of JennyBakes