Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cherries Jubilee Cheesecake

Hi there! Today, I bring you a cheesecake that I've been meaning to make since Christmas. Today was Steve's boss' birthday, so I finally had a reason. As much as I love dessert, it's always nice on my waistline when we don't keep them in the house. So, before I get into the recipe...Happy Birthday Amy!

I don't know if it's me and my general distaste for hard liquor, but I felt that the whiskey flavor in the cheesecake was strong enough, so I omitted the whiskey from the cherry topping. I've provided the recipe as intended, but since I was not going to be able to flambe in front of the recipients, it added to the decision to leave the topping plain this morning. In the future, I might reduce or omit the whiskey in the cheesecake and just prepare the topping as intended. Mind you that my judgement was based on pre-baked tastings. It's not like I can send the cheesecake with a slice missing. The final reviews were all great. As Steve put it, "he had to keep the wolves at bay until Amy could have her slice."

Cherries Jubilee Cheesecake
Makes 12 servings

25 chocolate wafer cookies (I used Oreos and omitted the sugar)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted

3 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 Jack Daniel's whiskey

Cherry topping (recipe follows)


~Using a food processor, process cookies to a crumb texture. Add the sugar and butter and mix until combined. Firmly press crust mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan that has been lightly coated with no-stick cooking spray.* Wrap foil under bottom and around outside of pan; set aside.

~Preheat oven to 325 degree F with a large roasting pan filled with 1 inch of warm water.

~In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar at high speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl frequently. Reduce mixer to low speed, and add eggs one at a time, jut until blended. Beat in cream and whiskey on medium speed and scrap down sides one more time. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place pan in water bath and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until edges are set but center has a slight giggle to it. Turn off oven. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of cake from pan. Leave cheesecake in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

~Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight before removing from pan. Serve with Cherry topping.

Cherry Topping

1 (12oz) bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries (unsweetened), thawed
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's whiskey (I omitted)
1/4 tsp almond extract


~Drain cherries into bowl, reserve the juice. Add enough water to cherry juice to equal 1/4 cup and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cherries and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Whisk cornstarch together with reserved cherry juice. Stir mixture into cherries. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.**

~To flambe: Place whiskey in 1-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave for 20 seconds. Immediately pour over warm cherries. Do not stir. Ignite sauce with match and swirl pan carefully until flames subside. Stir in extract. Spoon over cheesecake slices.


* I do not like using springform pans. No matter how much foil I use, water from the bath still seeps in and makes the crust soggy. I use a method introduced to me by good old Alton Brown. I use a 8 or 9-inch by 3-inch cake pan that I lightly coat with cooking spray or butter. I add a parchment round for the bottom and a parchment collar for the sides, which I then lightly coat with spray/butter. To depan, I place a cardboard round/large plate over top of cake. I flip the cake out and remove parchment round from the bottom of cake. Then I flip the cake onto the serving plate and remove the parchment collar.

**This is where I deviated and omitted the whiskey to flambe. I just added the almond extract here and allowed to cool before topping the cheesecake.

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