For Perfect Cheesecakes
***Although it is not absolutely necessary, I usually use a bain– marie.
A bain-marie (ban mah-REE) is a fancy term for a hot water bath. It is used for cooking custards and terrines to create a gentle and uniform heat around the food.
First, I set the pan with cheesecake batter on a sheet of Reynold’s wrap and bring the ends up and around the sides of the pan, then add a second layer of wrap. This will keep the water from seeping into the springform pan.
I usually use a roasting pan to set the prepared cheesecake into and slide into the oven. Then pour hot water into and about half way up the sides of the tin foil wrapped springform pan. Bake as usual.
This prevents cracking, I believe, and I do want a pretty cheesecake!
Crust: 1 – 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
Filling: 4 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese at
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Topping: 2 cups sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
In a bowl, combine wafers, almonds, and sugar, add the butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add extracts and beat until blended.
Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. (Don’t over bake!) Cool on a wire rack and chill overnight.
Stir vanilla extract into sour cream and top the cheesecake with the mixture while still in the springform pan.
Top with lightly toasted sliced almonds.
B-52 Bomber Cheesecake
The Chocolate Crust:
2 1/4 cups chocolate Teddy Grahams
3/8 cup Kahlúa
4 1/2 Tblsp. butter
Crush or process cookies. Pour Kahlúa over cookie crumbs and mix well. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press into a 10″ springform pan, which has been lined with a sheet of parchment paper.
***I cover the flat bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and snap the side ring around the bottom, catching the parchment securely. This makes the cheesecake easy to release from the pan. As always, I wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and set in a roasting pan to fill with hot water before baking.
(For more on that, click here ►bain marie or hot water bath.)
4 blocks of 8-ounce cream cheese, (softened)
1 – 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Remove 2 cups of batter to a separate bowl. Set aside for the Grand Marnier Layer.
To the remaining batter, add 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
Stir Irish cream into the batter and mix well.
Grand Marnier Layer:
2 cups of batter set aside earlier
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1 Tblsp. *freshly grated orange peel
Add the Grand Marnier and the orange peel to the batter set aside earlier and mix well.
Bake for 55 minutes at 350° or until center is almost set. Open oven door slightly and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and chill overnight.
Before serving, add chocolate curls, orange zest, and sprigs of mint. Some of the recipes that I looked through were followed with comments that the flavors blended together and really didn’t mimic the drink. They were unimpressed. With this recipe, I think the separate layers and their distinct flavors can be identified.
*The fresh orange zest makes such a huge statement. Don’t be tempted to use dried orange zest. It is not the same!
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 Tblsp. melted butter
To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes. Set to the side and prepare the filling.
11-ounce bag of vanilla caramels
3- 3/4 ounces evaporated milk
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 (8-ounce) pkg. cream cheese softened
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
In a heavy saucepan, melt the caramels with the evaporated milk over a low heat.
Stir until smooth.
(Dip a few pecan halves in melted caramel and place on parchment paper for garnish. Set aside.)
Pour the caramel and milk mixture over the graham cracker crust.
* I pour the caramel onto a spoon, held over the crust, so the crust is not disturbed.
Top with the toasted pecan pieces.
In a medium bowl, add the sugar to the cream cheese and mix with an electric mixer until well blended. One at a time, add the eggs and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and blend well. Pour the batter over the pecans and caramel layer. * Use a spoon again to pour the batter onto the crust and caramel-pecan layer.
Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Turn the oven off, prop the door open slightly, and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for about an hour.
Cover the springform pan with tin foil and refrigerate overnight.
Unclip the springform pan and using a knife, loosen the cheesecake, if necessary.
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,
3 Tblsp. evaporated milk
Melt the chocolate chips over low heat. Add the evaporated milk and stir until smooth.
Spread the chocolate over the chilled cheesecake. Garnish with the pecan halves dipped in caramel.
Keep refrigerated until serving. Enjoy!
Chocolate Wafer Crust:
3 cups Chocolate Teddy Grahams
4 Tblsp. unsalted butter
Crush the Teddy Grahams. Add the melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
1 Tblsp. butter
3-ounces unsweetened chocolate
9-ounces semi-sweet chocolate
12-ounces softened, cream cheese ( 1 whole 8-ounce pkg & 1/2- 8-ounce pkg)
2 Tblsp. vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Add both types of the chocolate squares and heat until melted, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
Beat the cream cheese until creamy and free of lumps. Add the vanilla and the cup of whipping cream. Mix well.
Slowly stir the melted chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
Beat the eggs with the sugar.
Add the chocolate & cream cheese mixture slowly while beating.
Pour into the prepared crust and bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is almost set. (Don’t over bake!) Open the oven door slightly and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove to cool on a wire rack and chill overnight.
Slice and serve with Hot Fudge Sauce and whipped cream.
Hot Fudge Sauce
6- ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
*1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a heavy saucepan, pour half-and-half and add chocolate morsels. Cook over medium-low heat until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir frequently.
Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Serve warm over the chocolate cheesecake. Makes about 1 cup.
* If you don’t have half-and-half, it can be made by adding 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have) and 1/4 cup heavy cream.
Polka Dot Cheesecake
1/3 cup Sugar
6 Tblsp. Butter, melted
1-1/2 cups chocolate Teddy Graham crumbs
1 cup toasted and chopped Almonds
4 (8-ounce) pkg. Cream Cheese
1-1/4 cups Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 large Eggs
4 (1-ounce) Semisweet Chocolate Squares
Combine the 1/3 cup of sugar, melted butter, Teddy Graham crumbs, and the chopped almonds. Press onto the bottom and about 1″ up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the 1-1/4 cups of sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the almond extract, the vanilla, and mix well.
Remove 1-1/2 cups of the batter to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup. Pour the remainder of the batter into the prepared pan.
Stir the melted chocolate into the reserved batter in the small mixing bowl. Pour the batter into a Ziploc plastic bag.
Snip off one corner of the plastic bag.
Insert the snipped corner into the middle of the white batter and squeeze about a 2″ circle of chocolate. Remove and squeeze batter evenly into six 1-1/2″ circles around the edge of the pan.
Bake at 350° for 60 minutes in a bain-marie. Open the oven slightly and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating overnight or until completely chilled.