I cannot believe that April is almost over which means it’s time for this month’s Daring Bakers reveal. The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from When I make cheesecakes I always try to use a waterbath; however, I have had issues with water seeping into my foil wrapped pan. This seepage has really pissed me off on a couple of occasions, so I decided to remedy the issue by placing the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in an oven bag before placing it into the water. I have also used crock pot liners and they worked just as well. I also let the cheesecake completely cool in the oven, this really seems to help with the cracks; I freaking despise cracks! Well that is my helpful hint of the day so now let’s talk orange cheesecake.
Here are my adjustments:
1.) I cut the recipe in half and used a 6 inch springform pan which I lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
2.) I added the zest from 1/2 an orange.
3.) I added 1/8 teaspoon of pure orange extract.
4.) I cooled the cheesecake in the oven for over 5 hours.
5.) I drizzled a chocolate glaze over the cooled cheesecake.
6.) I added candied orange slices for garnish using this recipe.
Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake:
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

DIRECTIONS:
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. 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.

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.

5. 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.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil “casserole” shaped pans from the grocery store. They’re 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

My thoughts: I think this cheesecake is really delicious, the heavy cream imparts a fluffier texture than the recipe I normally use. I will definitely bake this one again and may even chuck my previous recipe!

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