Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Baker April 2009 - Cheesecake with a Twist

This year for Easter it was just the kids and I. We are new to Mexico City so we do not know many people here, nor do we have family near by and this year my hubby flew to the States to buy a car and was driving back to Mexico City.

I thought it would be nice to save this months daring baker challenge for Easter dessert. Every year for Easter I make something with lemons or lemon curd but was sad to find out that the markets here do not regularly carry lemons. Mexico City is a lime city I guess so a little sad and disappointed I resigned to no lemons.

2 day before Easter I was at the market to pick up all the Easter goodies and I was elated to see lemons on the produce shelf and this meant lemon curd cheesecake.

The first obstetrical was to make the crust. I have not found graham crackers; however, I did find nice little almond cookies and they turned out so nice.

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (I used 1&1/3 cups almond cookies and 2/3 cup ground toasted almonds)
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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. Set crust aside.

at this time preheat oven to 350F and put water on to boil.

then I made the cheesecake filling:

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
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

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.

Lemon Curd:

6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
grated zest of 4 lemons
juice of 4 lemons

Put the eggs, sugar, and butter into a sauce pan and stir over med-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon zest and juice and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd thickens slightly.

once all the separate elements were completed (crust, cheesecake filling and lemon curd) I poured 1/2 of the cream cheese filling then 1/2 of the lemon curd on tome of that and swirled with a knife. topped with the rest of the cream cheese filling, top with the rest of the lemon curd and swirl with a knife again.

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.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - 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 do prefer the New York Cheesecake with the sour cream but I did learn that cheesecake and lemon curd were so meant to be together! it was rich and oh so full of flavor and (considering this was a lot of cheesecake and there was no way threes people could eat it all themselves) I gave some to all of my neighbors and they loved it too.

Please come back and join me on May 14th as I post the results of the new Daring challenge called the Daring Cooks.


Rachel said...

Lemon curd was my first choice but somehow peanutbutter got the upper hand.

rookie cookie said...

Mmmmmm. Cheesecake with lemon. Brilliant.

And hey, please don't get swine flu, okay?

breadchick said...

Lemon curd is always a good choice for cheesecake. I kind of lean your way too about NY Cheesecake. But this one was pretty nice too.

Kristen said...

Mmmm, I love lemon curd! Maybe now you'll have to make lime curd while in Mexico, which is also delicious. Enjoy all of the delicious fruit there; I miss it already, mangos, papayas and mamey, yumm. Great job on the cheesecake, it looks delicious!

Jeff said...


I normally use graham crackers but I would imagine almond cookies would be way better.

Nicely done!

Jess said...

Lemon curd sounds good too. The lime was good. I just love citrus.

Anonymous said...

Yummy so glad you were able to make lemon curd. So Mexico City I hope you guys are safe from the swine flu.

Ok I know this is a dumb question: but I have joined the daring bakers, but how do I join the daring cooks? Thanks!

Jenny said...

What a lovely combination, and happy karma that you got your lemons.
Hope you and your family are safe right now as I am not hearing good things about being in Mexico at this time.

Yasmeen said...

Love the almond crust,nice complement with lemony curd:)

Shayne said...

it sure was happy karma!

wow I can;t remember how I joined the daring cooks. maybe I sent an email asking

Esther said...

Oh lemon curd cheesecake that sounds wonderful what a great idea.. now I'm wanting to make another one!

mlle noelle said...

Looks like we were on the same page flavor-wise :) Glad you were able to find lemons after all!

nicole said...

Mmmm! I love lemon curd with cheesecake. Can't go wrong with that combo!

Jenny said...

I think the creaminess of this cheesecake is so well paired with citrus, and this looks delicious. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Bakers Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Jill said...

Your lemon curd swirls look great on that picture of the cheesecake ready to be baked. You can't go wrong with lemon ever! :)