Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Sold My First Cheesecake!

I'm SO all about the cupcakes right now, but my all-time favorite thing to bake is cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake. Like...way too much. As a matter of fact, the only reason I don't make them much anymore is because the fiance told me I couldn't. Literally said, "You can't make anymore cheesecakes."

When we first started dating, I made cheesecakes for us. A lot of them. Big ones. a week. And we ate them. And we both gained like 15 pounds. So, not wanting to weigh more than the oven itself, fiance told me I had to stop.


So I hadn't made a cheesecake for months. Until 2 days ago!

I had been telling a co-worker that I make the best cheesecakes in the world and so he paid me to make one for a friend's birthday. So I chose one of my favorite ones:

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I heard it was amazing. My co-worker made "MMMMM" and "AAAARRRRRRRR" noises all day while he recounted the eating of I have a feeling that it turned out pretty decent.

Try this recipe. It's awesome.

1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
4 eggs, room temperature
15 oz pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain yogurt, full fat if you can find it
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
large pinch salt

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp bourbon
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" springform pan. Grind first ingredients until nut mix sticks together. Press mix evenly into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside and cool. Wrap pan with 3 layers of heavy foil.

Using mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon peel until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add the pumpkin, yogurt, flour, vanilla, spices, and salt. Pour into pan.

Set springform pan inside a roasting pan. Pour hot water in the roasting pan until the level reaches about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until outer 3 inches puff slightly and center is softly set - about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in water bath for 30 minutes. Remove from water. Cut around sides to loosen. Refrigerate in pan for 4 hours. Cover. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Bring sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup and salt to a boil, whisking until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and continue boiling for 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and then the pecans. Set aside to cool.

Uncover and remove foil from springform pan. Cut around pan sides again to make sure sides are loosened. Remove from springform pan.

Cut cheesecake into wedges. Spoon sauce over cake.


All that hooplah with the foil and the roasting pan? A little bit unnecessary...but I ALWAYS do it. It keeps the cheesecake moist and helps it not crack. It sounds like more of a pain than it is.

Also...cheesecakes are a little hard to cut smoothly. Keep the hot water running while cutting, and run your knife under it about every 2 cuts. This will keep your blade warm and clean and cutting smoothly!