Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake

I know, I know. I'm a sucky blogger. I can't seem to keep up with this any more. Not really sure why either. Not like I'm doing anything else really.

This was another relatively easy challenge. I've made cheesecake before. Though actually, this is the first time I've done it with my stand mixer. Usually I've done it all by hand in a bowl.

Once again, probably the hardest part was deciding what flavors I wanted to go with. I was thinking about entering a blackberry recipe contest but 1. blackberries were really expensive so I didn't want to spend $5/container and 2. I didnt' really have a recipe worked out.

Well I went to the grocery store and they had blackberries on sale. $1/container. That's so doable. So I bought 5 containers. Which was all the ones they had on sale. Then it was figuring out what I was going to do with them..... Well I had this cheesecake recipe sitting there waiting for me to figure out what I was going to do with it so they went into that.

I used two 8-1/2" round cake pans.

This was probably my most popular creation I've brought to work. And that says something because I bring some form of baked goods usually 2-3 times a week. It's also possible that they liked it because I was out of town and this was the first item I'd brought in in over a week and they were suffering withdrawal. Either way.....

Edit: Here's the pic

1 pack graham crackers, crushed

3/4 cup slivered almonds, finely chopped or ground
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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 container blackberries, pureed and strained

1 orange, zested and juiced

1/4 cup each, orange marmalade and seedless blackberry jam

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

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. Split the batter evenly between 2 bowls. Mix the blackberry puree into one and the orange zest and juice into the other.

4. Pour blackberry batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Then pour the orange batter over and tap on the counter again. 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.

6. When they have chilled, heat the blackberry jam and orange marmalade together and stir until well combined. Pour over the cheesecakes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

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


Evan said...

Orange-blackberry sounds amazing! I tried a similar citrus + berry combination: lemon-raspberry. I didn't think about using marmalade/jam, though. I'll have to try that next time.

April said...

This combination sounds so good! Summer all over it. I also have to say that $1/container is an awesome find!! Great job on the cheesecake!

Amanda said...

Yay for cheap berries! I bought strawberries and blackberries at Sam's club the other day for a ridiculously low price.

Dharm said...

The flavours sound simply amazing! I wish I could get my hands on cheap berries!!

BC said...

Your coworkers must love you!Berries on sale... high five for you.

The Irreverent Cook said...

I just love me some fruits on sale! And blackberry and orange sounds delish, post some pictures so we can salivate over it! =D

Jenny said...

Sounds good to me! My co-workers seemed to like my cheesecake experiments too. One day I came in and had a funny message on my phone, just a co-worker pleading for cheesecake in a whiny voice, because it had been two days since I brought the last one. Two days!

Anyway, thanks for participating in this challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Amanda said...

pictures are back! :)