Monday, April 27, 2009

1st Daring Baker's Challenge...Cheesecake!

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

This was my very 1st DB challenge!! I've been lurking for probably about 6 months debating whether or not I felt confident enough to join in (because you DB are good!) so when the new Daring Kitchen web site went "live" I thought that now was as good as a time as ever to jump in with both feet. I must admit I did feel a slight *sigh* of relief when the reveal day came and Cheesecake was the challenge. I was a little worried I was going to get something really complicated right of the bat, I've made a ton of cheesecakes before so I knew I would be okay. Since we were given some creative liberty, I decided to make a few flavour changes to the original recipe we were given and come up with Chocolate Mochaccino Swirl Cheesecake. I've listed the original recipe below and included the changes I made in red.

the crust (I lined my spring form pan with parchment):

cream cheese and sugar ready to be creamed:

mmmm creamy...

water bath, see the steam...I was worried about the water leaking and creating a soggy crust so I put my spring form pan inside another cake pan and then put it in the water bath:

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:


2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (I used 2 cups of Oreo cookie crumbs)

1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted

2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract


3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature

1 cup / 210 g sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream

1 tbsp. lemon juice (I omitted the lemon juice)

1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake (I didn't add any)


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 pressed mine in the bottom of the pan only). Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in 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.

**Additional steps by "me": after step 3 I divided the batter into 2 separate bowls and to 1 bowl of mixture I added 3 tablespoons of instant espresso and to the other bowl I added 6 oz of melted semi sweet chocolate. I poured the chocolate mixture into the pan and then "swirled" in the espresso mixture.
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 (I put the cheesecake pan inside a larger solid cake pan).
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done (mine took almost 2 hours) - 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 finish 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.

I garnished my finished cheesecake with cappuccino flavoured whipped cream (heavy cream whipped with a small package of instant cappuccino and a couple tablespoons of icing sugar), chocolate covered coffee beans and to spring it up a bit I added leftover chocolate butterflies I made for spring themed cupcakes.

Although my cheesecake did crack (a bit), I was very happy with the way this turned out and my family ended up enjoying it as part of our Easter dessert table. Thanks JennyBakes for a great first challenge!!!


Jo said...

Great job on your 1st DB challenge and the flavours of your cheesecake sounds delicious.

Nawal said...

Congratulations for your first and Yummy challenge ;-)
Well done !

Jill said...

I love the chocolate butterflies!! Good job on your first challenge!

Candice said...

Looks really pretty with the chocolate butterflies!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

This cheesecake is ornate and beautiful! P.S. I love your header!

Anonymous said...

How beautiful, and look at those butterflies, your talented!

Namratha said...

Well done on your first challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

Claire said...

What a fancy cheesecake! Great job on your first challenge. I can't believe that it took TWO HOURS to had great patience!

Em said...

Holy moly! I can't believe you made those butterflies! That's really impressive.
Congrats on your first challenge. :)

Jude said...

such a nice way to take on the challenge. Welcome to DB!

Dragon said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers! Your cheesecake is lovely. Great job on this month's challenge.

ice tea: sugar high said...

The butterflies are sooo cute! great job on the first challenge. Welcome to DB. Love your flavour combination.. Moccachinno.. yumm

The Flying Quiche said...

Those butterflies are adorable! So springy!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! Congrats on your first challenge =D.

Anonymous said...

What a beauty your cheesecake is! Those butterflies really add another layer of exquisiteness into the whole presentation. Congratulations!

Chantal said...

Welcome to DB!
Your butterflies are so beautiful.

Christina said...

Wonderful job on your first challenge! I love love love the chocolate butterflies!


Thanks everyone for all the nice comments and for making me feel so welcome!

Jenny said...

I know I'm about a month late, but your cheesecake is beautiful with the butterflies. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Jenny of JennyBakes