Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daring Bakers and a have-it-your-way cheesecake!!

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

Since I've never made cheesecake before, I was super excited to tackle this challenge. I immediately began thinking of flavor combinations. That's right, Jenny said we could do any flavor or crust, as long as we followed the base recipe. Yea!

I finally decided on a mint Oreo crust with the plain cheesecake, dotted with Andes mint pieces and topped with melted Andes mints and mint Oreos. Go ahead and start drooling, you have my permission :)

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

2 cups/180 crushed mint Oreos
1 stick/4 oz. butter, melted
2 tbsp./24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 sticks cream cheese, 8 oz. each, room temperature
1 cup/210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup/8 oz. heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice (I left this out because of all the mint flavors)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp. liquer, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake (I left this out as well, but maybe next time I would add mint Bailey's)
1-2 cups Andes mint pieces

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. ( I put the Andes mint pieces on top of the crust and poured the batter over it.) Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or 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 finishing 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.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure!
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Anonymous said...

How pretty, great job. Love both Andes and mint oreos.

Christina said...

Thank you. I really love your jalapeno cheesecake. Great idea!

Celeste said...

Okay...I am officially drooling...Oh my goodness, this looks divine!!!

Christina said...

Thank you, thank you. I mean, who doesn't love oreos? Especially mint oreos :) And Celeste I loved following your postings of your Europe trip and I'm planning on attempting to make those crepes. Keyword = attempting ;)

Anonymous said...

Andes mints are my very favorite kind of candy. I used to know them as the "olive garden mints" until one day my dad bought me a whole bag.... mmm. Your cheesecake looks so tempting!

Christina said...

That's too funny because that's actually how I used to refer to them as well :) And thank you. By the way I loved your cheesecake pictures.

nicole said...

These look delicious!

Stephanie said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for following my blog! Your's is super cute! I would LOVE to go to Paris:)

Christina said...

Nicole - thank you. And they were very delicious and such a great recipe!

Stephanie - Thank you and I think everyone should get to experience Paris at least once in their lifetime :) And FYI, you're blog's name are two of my favorite foods to eat. I literally make mac&cheese at least a couple of times every month.

Anonymous said...

Oh, goodness! Oreos and Andes mint pieces! These look amazing.

Christina said...

Thank you Shannon. I love the banner on your blog and I just got a little chuckle from your About Me section. I'm also guilty of planning vacations around food :)

Eat My Cake Now said...

You are very creative.
It’s a very great idea for a cheesecake! Mint oreos and Andes chocolate are a perfect match!
Sounds delicious to me.

minisuperbias said...

good thing you gave drooling permission, because i am drooling ;)

wütende Bäckerfrau said...

HAH! YUM!! These look awesomeeeeeeee! I considered doing a mint one, but decided not to. Now I wish I did :P
Great job!!

Christina said...

Eat My Cake Now - Thank you. I LOVE mint oreos! Probably too much, which is why I hardly ever buy them :)

Christi - I believe there should always be drooling permission where cheesecake is concerned :)

Lacey - Now you have an excuse to make more cheesecake ;)

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I do love me some Oreo's! These look super tasty!

Chantal said...

yummy cuteness!

Jenny said...

These sound so good, and I love the extra touches you did to decorate them. I'm glad you were a part of this month's challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Laura said...

Yum!! Mint oreo cheesecake sounds fab!

Christina said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments everyone :)

Jenny – Thank you for choosing such a great challenge. You gave all of us a blank canvas which was so much fun!

Andrea said...

Very yummy! I adore Andes mints and using the mint Oreos was a great idea. Nicely done!

Lawson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Mmmm mint oreos!!!
Your cheese cakes look great. I like the idea of making cupcake sized ones... next time I might do this!

Meredith said...

This looks amazing -- mint oreos are the best!

Anonymous said...

Those look sooo good!
Nice work!

Michael and Kenna said...

I love the idea of mint cheesecake! Yum!

Alison said...

love, love, love Andes mints! Great job on the cheesecake challenge

Talita said...

This looks and sounds great! I love cheesecake!