The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I joined a baking group.
Before I started this blog, I didn’t even know that such things as “baking groups” even existed. To say the least, keeping track of all of them is difficult, and completing the challenges successfully, even moreso.
Last month, I joined the Daring Bakers in the hopes that I would challenge myself to make exciting, new recipes and maybe even make some new friends along the way.
What I did learn is that being part of a baking group is difficult when you’re in college.
The recipe we were asked to make a cheesecake centerpiece, a recipe so kindly provided by Jenny Bakes. I took one look at the recipe and nearly cried. Three packages of cream cheese? Heavy cream?4 eggs?! Does anyone think about cholesterol or the fact I’m lactose intolerant?!
I changed some of the ingredients to match a Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake recipe I found in one of my cookbooks, and was planning to use a premade chocolate crust until disaster struck.
It completely crumbled when I tried to move it to another pie dish. How was I supposed to know that was going to happen? After I hurriedly scrambled together some crushed chocolate chip cookies with the crumbs, melted some butter, and baked that for ten minutes, after which I flopped my cheesecake mixture into the completely unready crust and baked it for almost an hour.
There’s barely any mint flavor in this cheesecake, but at least the water bath kept it creamy. And it was the first time I ever used a water bath too.
Chocolate Mint Cheesecake
Niki’s Note: Check out the April 27 post on Jenny Bakes for the original recipe. Try to make it yourself!
2 packages (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 + 1/8 tsp mint extract (even after I did this, it still wasn’t like, WHOA MINT. I’ll probably make this again to fix that)
2 C milk chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1 ready-to-use chocolate crust, 9-inch
(or, if your crust falls apart, use 2 C of crumbs and 1 stick of butter melted, plus 1 tsp vanilla extract to create a new crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes and then let cool slightly before pouring in mixture)
1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove. At the same time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and mint until well blended. Add eggs; mix until well-blended. Stir in the melted chocolate.
3. Pour into the crust.
4. Pour the water into a casserole dish or other high side pan and place on the lower rack of your oven, OR place your pie dish directly in it. Make sure the water does not come up over the sides.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Extend the time if baking directly in the water bath.
6. Let cool on a wire rack, then place into the refrigerator for at least three hours.
Even after all of that, I couldn’t get a decent slice of cheesecake out. I don’t think I’m good at this. 😦
Niki’s Postscript: I decided that the last thing I’m baking in my apartment this semester are sugar cookies that you’ll get to see tomorrow. It’s getting too hot in Glassboro, and in my apartment for that matter, to light up the gas oven, so from here out (and probably the rest of the summer), I’ll be making only no-bake desserts. Don’t forget to check back for dessert reviews, too!
Niki’s Post Postscript: I apologize for probably the ugliest photos I’ve put up in a long time. Cheesecake making in 80 degree weather is a BAD BAD BAD decision. Also, I’m not really sure why I’m posting the recipe I used. The cheesecake doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not minty.
Man, I’m weird.