I decided to make only 1/3 rd of the recipe so that I will have to make use of one 8oz block of cream cheese and adjusted all the other measurements accordingly. The crust was made as given in the recipe, but I added 1/4 cup of pecans to the food processor along with the graham crackers (1/3rd recipe) and crumbled it. The preparation of the cheesecake batter went without incidents. I baked the cake in a tart/quiche pan with fluted sides and removable bottom. I was planning to make some swirls on top with a different colored batter containing either chocolate or strawberry puree, but honestly in the end I just forgot!!
JM and I are not really cheesecake people, though we do enjoy it very rarely. But I must say that both of us enjoyed this cheesecake. I thought that the recipe was really simple and quick. The cheesecake was really smooth, beautiful to look at and delicious. I could proudly say that my first cheesecake experiment went without any major hurdles. My only complaint to myself was that since I reduced the recipe by 1/3rd, I couldnt get any traditional/typical pictures of the mile-high cheesecake slice!! :-) But the reduction in the recipe made the portions that we had, really enjoyable. Eventhough the crust appeared a bit dark and I thought that it was soggy, that was not the case. It was probably a bit moist (not soggy at all), because of the pecans? Anyways, I regret that I forgot to make swirls on the cheesecake and I couldnt make any exotic combinations this time. But I am happy that we fully enjoyed our first home-made cheesecake and I would suggest this recipe to my friends!!
Hope you all enjoyed reading through my experience and comments. Check out all my previous Daring Bakers Challenges here.
** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries - heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stovetop blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon - cook until berries burst, then cool).
** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel - take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website - just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).
** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.
** Mexican Turtle - add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.
** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of "coins" of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.
**Key lime - add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.
**Cheesecakelets - put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.
Dont forget to check out the wide array of flavor combinations in the DB cheesecake factory this month!
Come back soon for more recipes from Tasty treats! Have a great day!!