Saturday, January 12, 2008
I was asked to bring a cheesecake to a baby shower last week and I was thrilled! I've been really wanting play with cheesecakes lately but I'm afraid to start because eating copious amounts of cheesecake might get in the way of the 10 pounds I want to lose before Julia's wedding.
I remembered how much I loved this peppermint cheesecake that Ashley made once, so I thought I'd try that. Like I said before, I am loyal to my cheesecake recipe, so I just adapted that. Lisa Shortridge is the mother cheesecake-maker and I defer to her in all things cheesecake. I used her white chocolate mousse topping and spread that on top and was really happy with the result. I had thought about making it a white chocolate peppermint cheesecake, but I worried that the peppermint flavor would over-power the white chocolate and that I would just add a lot of unnecessary calories. Then as you can see I make it look ridiculous by piping all this ridiculous whipped cream. I really need some help with my cake-decorating skills.
5 Tbs butter, melted, plus 1 Tbs melted butter for the pan
2 cups crushed oreos (don't bother removing the cream filling)
1 Tbs sugar
2 1/2 lbs (5 8oz packages) cream cheese, cut into rough 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp juice from 1 lemon (I might consider leaving the lemon juice out next time. The cheesecake tasted great, but the batter tasted a little weird with the lemon and peppermint.)
1 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or just over 1/4 tsp peppermint oil, which is what I used)
2-3 drops red food coloring (I don't know if I would add this next time. Mine turned out kind of a weird salmon color instead of the pretty peppermint pink I was hoping for.)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, plus 6 lare eggs, at room temp
1. For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan with 1/2 Tbs of melted butter. Combine the oreo and sugar in a medium bowl; add 5 Tbs of the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened. Empty the crumbs into the spring form pan and press evenly into the pan bottom. Bake until fragrant, about 13 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
2. For the filling: Increase the oven temp to 500 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula; add the salt and about half the sugar and beat at medium low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; beat in the remaining sugar until combined; about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the sour cream, lemon juice (if desired), peppermint extract (or oil), food coloring (if desired) and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the egg yolks and beat at medium-low speed until throughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the remaining eggs, two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions.
3. Brush the sides of the spring form pan with the remaining 1/2 Tbs of melted butter. Set the spring form pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temp to 200 degrees and continue to bake until the cheesecake registers about 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. (Might take longer) Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Run a paring knife between the cake and the pan sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.
4. To unmold the cheesecake, remove the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan to loosen, then slide the cake onto a serving plate. Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges.
White Chocolate Mousse Topping (courtesy of Lisa)
1 cup whipping cream
2 T powdered sugar
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 oz white chocolate baking squares, melted
In a cold mixing bowl beat cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Put this in a bowl in the fridge. Don't wash your mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese in it, until fluffy. Add the white chocolate and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. After the cheesecake has cooled, spread the mousse evenly on top. Refrigerate for about an hour.