Friday, January 27, 2012

Spicy Irish Cheesecake

I am so excited about this recipe! I have never had the guts to play with a cheesecake recipe like I did this one, and it was a success! I absolutely love cheesecake and have only made it once or twice before. Actually, I think the only time I make it is when I make it for the person this one is for. One of the guys my husband works for graciously works on our computers when we have problems, and never asks for anything in return. We happen to know, however, that he loves cheesecake. So we pay for our computer repairs with cheesecake. :-) I will be making this one again. Maybe next time for me and my family.

This recipe is not as simple as other cheesecake recipes I've encountered. At the same time, it's not as difficult as some others. Either way, it was well worth the effort.

Spicy Irish Cheesecake
Copyright 2012 Brendilly Bakes, All rights reserved

Graham Crust
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons regular salted butter, melted
Spiced Cheesecake Filling
4 (8 oz.) packages of Creme Cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
4 large Eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
1 teaspoon Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (Recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Scant 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Spicy Irish Topping
1/4 cup regular, salted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Cake Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This keeps the water bath you're going to use out of the cake.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the creme cheese and sugar; mix until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Combine heavy cream and Irish Cream in a glass measuring cup. Add to creme cheese mixture along with pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; combine until thoroughly incorporated and smooth in texture.
5. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes. The edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. Close the oven door, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for at least one hour, and up to 3 hours.
7. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

Sauce Directions

1. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
2. Combine the heavy cream, Irish Cream, and maple syrup in a one cup glass measuring cup with a whisk, until combined.
3. Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and whisk for about one minute.
4. Turn off the heat. Whisk cream mixture with your warm whisk to temper it a bit, then slowly whisk into butter and flour, a little at a time - whisking as you pour.
5. Whisk in the sugar and spice mixture.
6. Turn the heat back on to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
7. Allow topping to cool completely before topping the cheesecake.

Assembly: Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and remove foil from around the pan. Release the springform and set the pan bottom with the cheesecake on it on a plate or cake stand (or if you're really brave you can attempt to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan). Spoon sauce on top of the cheesecake in whatever fashion makes you happy. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream and more sauce on the side. Enjoy!

I had enough filling leftover to make a few mini-cheesecakes to keep for us. Yay!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rasnana Smoothie

For most of the winter my blender hangs out in a cupboard. I make more smoothies and shakes during the summer, and that's the majority of what I use my blender for. Last night was an exception. My family was wanting dessert (something I don't normally do during the week) and my husband and I wanted to make it healthy. My husband thought "yogurt". I took it a step further and thought "smoothie"! Everybody loves them, they're quick and easy, and they can be as healthy or as sinful as you're in the mood for. These were fairly healthy and they went so fast I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the finished product.

I love the way it looks in the blender before mixing.

Rasnana Smoothie
Copyright 2012 Brendilly Bakes, All rights reserved.

1 1/2 cups Vanilla Yogurt
2 Bananas, sliced
1/2 cups Agave nectar
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Rice Milk
1 1/2 cups Frozen fresh Raspberries

Blend until smooth and well combined. Taste and add more rice milk if it's too thick or more agave if not sweet enough. If you want it thicker, add more yogurt. These were the amounts to our liking. If you're bothered by raspberry seeds, pour the smoothie into your glass through a sieve. Push through with a spoon, then discard the seeds. Enjoy!

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