Monday, April 27, 2009

DB: Cheesecake Goodness

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

After I had delivered lead sous chef about 3 and 1/2 years ago and the "oh, look at the new baby" excitement had worn off the new grandparents, my father and step-mother headed out to get something to eat. They returned with probably the best cheesecake that I had ever eaten from The Cheesecake Factory. Okay, maybe it was because I had just pushed out an 8 and 1/2 pound baby girl and was (no lie) ravenous for something to eat. But, let's just say that every piece of cheesecake that I have had since then always pales in comparison.

Until now.

Jenny, thank you so much for such an awesome choice! We were given a lot of liberties this month in our baking. I really enjoyed the flexibility and had a ton of ideas. I actually should have used the strawberries sitting in the fridge, but I just couldn't do it. I wanted to try to recreate a turtle cheesecake.

For my cheesecake, I kept with the recipe, but added a layer of melted chocolate (about a cup of dark chocolate morsels) mixed with the cheesecake batter. After it had baked and cooled, I topped it with caramel sauce. The results were outstanding, and I will definitely make this again.

For the caramel sauce:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Melt the brown sugar and butter together in a medium saucepan. Once melted, carefully add the whipping cream and vanilla. Let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes longer. Serve warm.

A couple of things to note:

You need to bake the cheesecake for almost an hour, let it sit in the oven for an hour, then let it cool in the fridge (overnight would be best). SO, that said it isn't exactly a quick dish. However, using the water bath and letting it finish off cooking while the oven cools is so worth it.

Unless you know for SURE that your pan is water-tight, wrapping it in foil is an important step. I missed a little and I think a little water seeped in, but it didn't do too much damage. Chilling it kept from it having any kind of sogginess, I think.

For mine, since there was a layer of chocolate, it is important to let it sit out of the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. That way the chocolate isn't just a solid layer.

Not a daring baker? Want to know more? Click here to find out all about us and while you are there, check out what the other DB's thought of this months' challenge!


The Blonde Duck said...

Cheesecake is my second favorite dessert after pie, esp. caramel cheesecake. Have you ever had dulce de leche cheesecake? It's out of this world!

5 Star Foodie said...

Your cheesecake sounds excellent - I love the chocolate layer!

Sara said...

Wow...looks amazing!! Cheesecake Factory does have delicious cheesecake, but this looks like good competition. :)

Elra said...

Can't go wrong caramel, this is really delicious treat. Your cheesecake look so smooth and perfect.

Reeni♥ said...

It's gorgeous!! And I love your Turtle idea. How decadent and so delicious!!

Ginger said...

I have to say that your Cheesecake looks like it should be on the menu of a fine restaurant. Great photos!!

Pam said...

So rich, decadent and delicious. I love the photos.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Looking at the carmel dripping off it it is making me drool. Looks like your cheesecake came out perfect! said...

Ha! My boss & I were just talking about cheesecake this morning. I'm going to end up buying one for her though. Some of the people in the office just don't appreciate home-baked goodness so I'm not sharing! Glad you found a good cheesecake recipe! I swear that is the prettiest cheesecake I've ever seen.


Abbey T. said...

Better than the memory of the cheesecake you ate after giving birth? Wow. I think that's one of the best compliments my recipe has ever gotten. THANK YOU, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Reading through all these blogs today has been so incredibly humbling. :-)

creampuff said...

Oooooooooooooh! That is some cheesecake! Nicely done!

MaryMary said...

You had me at "caramel" This looks absolutely fabulous!

Diana said...

I didn't even think of making a turtle cheesecake! That is my favorite :) I'll have to try it when I'm in the mood to make dessert again. Great job on the challenge!

Renato said...

Wonderful cheesecake and pictures! I crave for something with caramel, now! hahaha
By the way, I loved the pic of the plain cheesecake. It's so neat! Congratulations!

Sweta said...

Cheesecake-yummy!! Are there any left-overs???