This was supposed to be a chocolate mousse post. It’s Friday so it is time for a FFWD recipe.
But in truth, I’m having pretty hectic weeks, with power cuts, a lot of heat on top of a lot of work. Not the fun work, the real-work work.
And I needed to bake this cheesecake to take over to a friend’s house and I have already posted my favorite dark chocolate mousse, which not only is fabulous, but has no sugar. Not that you would ever realize it. So another similar post when time is so short suddenly seemed like a very unattractive idea. I think this cheesecake more than makes up for it.
I have a very purist approach to cheesecake, not because I don’t like additions, but because I think the basic list of ingredients for the actual cheese part should include four ingredients, which are cream cheese, sugar, eggs and cream. We can even cut that down to the first three. There’s no need for starches.
That said, this filling has a few more ingredients and it includes butter. Oh my, what is wrong with me, right? Just an impossible to curb enthusiasm for any new cheesecake recipe that sounds great. That’s what’s wrong, or right depending on how you look at it.
There are some things, in this case ingredients, and more specifically the butter involved, that should be left in the dark. It’s there, but nobody needs to know. The cheesecake is terrific, smooth, creamy, with a hint of sweet bitterness from the molasses. Fabulous. I wouldn’t be giving you the recipe, leaving behind my best of the best cheesecake recipe, which I told you about just last week, if this one didn’t deliver big time.
So rest assured that it’s worth every calorie. I think it’s the perfect dessert for the string of holidays that have already started and go into the next year. A wonderful alternative tothe traditional pies and cakes, or a different addition to those recipes which will cause an upheaval in the house if you don’t make them, and will have someone pouting like an eight year old. So let’s just add it to the dessert table and have everyone taste it and give their verdict. I’m sure you’ll be guilty of introducing a new favorite.
This cheesecake made it to my friend’s house with a bitten piece. I guess that’s what friends are for.
BROWN SUGAR CHEESECAKE
a bit adapted from Sweet Stuff by Karen Barker, via The BestAmerican Recipes 2005-2006 by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens
Makes 8 servings
For the crust:
1 ½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
½ cup toasted ground almonds
6 Tbs (90g) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 ½ pounds (700g) cream cheese, room tº
8 Tbs (110g) unsalted butter, room tº
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tbs molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup cream
4 large eggs
For the topping:
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 Tbs light brown sugar
4 Tbs bourbon
For the crust:Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it’s like wet sand.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch (26cm) springform pan with aluminum foil and attach the sides. Press cookie mixture onto bottom and up sides of pan (about 1 inch). Refrigerate while preparing filling.
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until completely smooth. Add molasses, vanilla, sour cream and cream and beat just until incorporated.
Add eggs, one at a time, barely waiting for one to incorporate before adding the next one.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300ºF/150ºC and bake for 40 minutes more. Keep oven on.
Remove cake and carefully spread topping on. Cheesecake will be wobbly.
Return to the oven, bake for 5 minutes and turn oven off. Leave cheesecake for one hour inside oven without opening the door.
Remove to wire rack, let cool completely, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
For the topping:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
To serve cheesecake:
Remove sides from springform pan and lift aluminum foil. Place cake on serving plate and decorate with nuts or fruits.