musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eggnog Cheesecake - Birthday Style

We have a Birthday tradition in my house.  Each child gets to pick their cake for their special day (you did notice I said 'kid', right.  Yes, this leaves Hubster and myself out. . . well. . . sort of  - ha!). 

It started with taking the wee-one to the store, plopping them in the shopping cart and driving them slowly down the Cake Aisle until every last option was discussed, all was decided, and we made it through the check out line. Then it was off to home and let the baking begin!

Oh sure, I could easily make my own cakes - but the point was to let the Birthday Girl or Boy have a visual selection to choose from. . . the ponderings over those pictures on all those boxes.  Well, they were simply priceless!

As the children got older and more aware of all kinds of cakes (not just the ones in the box) their tastes got more and more grand. . . I've never had to say: 'no way!'  But I've come close.  Just exactly how successful is a three layer chocolate chip cookie bar cake with whipped cream between layers and as frosting?  Well. . . successful enough, apparently, for one year:-)

This year Dear December Daughter got in on the act and not only *told* me what kind of cake she wanted - but sent me recipes!  Hoo-boy. . . but it was fun and we had great discussions over what would work, what needed to be changed, and how we would prefer things another way.  She even helped with part of its creation - what a gal!

Eggnog Cheesecake (with Rasberry Sauce and Cinnamon-Rum Whipped Cream)

1 ksyardbird Graham Cracker Crust (add 1/4 tsp nutmeg to recipe.  Nuts are optional)
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup eggnog
2 eggs
3 Tbsp rum
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare graham cracker crust and bake. 

While crust is baking (and cooling.) prepare filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees once graham cracker crust is done baking.

Beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth. 

Add 1 cup sugar, flour, and eggnog.  Blend until smooth.  Combine thoroughly with eggs, rum, and nutmeg.

Pour mixture into cooled crust in springform pan.

Bake in 425 oven for 10 minutes.

Then reduce heat to 250 and back for 45 minutes ( (Now's the perfect time to make the raspberry sauce and whipped cream) until center of cake is barely firm to the touch.  Remove from over and immediately loosen cake from rim. 

Let cake cool completely before completely removing from springform pan and topping and/or serving.

Before I go on with the toppings, I must tell you that the 'loosen immediately from sides of springform pan' sounds like a good idea as it would prevent the cake from cracking. . . but didn't work out so well for me.  I have never done that before and I want to try it again before telling you not to bother.  IF you happen to do this and the edge not come out looking as raggy as mine is in the above picture, I sure do hope you love me enough to tell me your trick;-)  Okay, the edges may look funny - but that sure as heck does NOT affect the taste nor diminish my desire to make this one again.  On with the show ~ ~ ~

Raspberry Sauce

16 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries
1/8 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch blended in 1 cup of cold water

Add all ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until desired consistency.  Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.  We boiled it until it poured out of the spoon at about 1/2 the speed as just water.

Puree the sauce with a handheld immersion blender and strain it through a fine sieve (using a muddler to help with process if necessary) to separate seeds, if desired.

You can serve this sauce warm or cold and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cinnamon-Rum Whipping Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp rum extract
2 tsp cinnamon

In a chilled mixing bowl, beat all ingredients until fluffy and smooth.  Keep cold until ready to serve.  Will keep in refrigerator for several days.  May have to remix if separates.

As I was making a Birthday Cake and trying to make it fancy. . . I actually decorated the cake with the Sauce and Cream.  The thought was puffs of cream with dabs of sauce. 

Then I put a Birthday candle in each dab of raspberry sauce

I didn't have enough 'dabs' (nor candles) but we also didn't want to set the place on fire - hahaha!


And was it ever delicious! The cheesecake was creamier than a regular cheesecake and the eggnog flavor was not overwhelming whatsoever. The cinnamon-rum whipped cream really brought out the tart of the raspberries which mellowed out the sweet of the cheesecake.

I would call it a win-win-win recipe! And honestly, about 1-1/2 hours of total prep and cook time and you've got one heckuva impressive dessert for dinner! Just be sure to allow *plenty* of time for the cheesecake to cool thoroughly. . . overnight is best, but at least give it all afternoon if you must make it the same day as you want to serve it.

Have a Birthday Cheesecake kind of day ~

Robin Z

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