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Megans Cookin: Cheesecake Bites

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheesecake Bites

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

We were allowed to express our creative side with this challenge
and I couldn't resist but to make mini cheesecakes in several different flavors.
A few flavor combos I've been wanting to try for awhile now
and a few I know the family would love to try.

I had much success but a few disappointments.

This is my cheesecake journey! :)

I made the original recipe using a vanilla bean scraped and omitting the lemon and booze. I then divided the batter into five different bowls and added my flavors.

I decided to make the following flavors.

Lemon Thyme

Rose with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Peanut Butter Cup

Chocolate Hazelnut


Lemon Thyme.
I wanted to top it with a lemon curd but it was a lemon marmalade that I had in the pantry. I han go with the pantry stock but next time I'll do it with a curd. I would also add a little more thyme to my batter. I was very conservative because I didn't know how much to add and I only made a few of these. It's topped with a pretty Thyme flower.

Rose Dark Chocolate Chunk.

My changes for next time?
I would a a little more rose water.
(it was hard to determine amounts when making just a few)
I would also top it off with a chocolate ganach instead of just melted chocolate.
And I'm thinking a chocolate rose petal would work great here!

Peanut Butter Cup!
Just chop up some Reese's PB cups and add to the batter.
Drizzle with chocolate.

Chocolate Hazelnut.
Add Nutella to the batter.

Next time?
Frost with Nutella!
Hazelnut on top

Snickers Cheesecake Bits!
Add chopped up Snickers.
Top with a pool of Carmel and drizzle with chocolate!

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
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 I didn't use
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)I used vanilla bean innards!
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake-I didn't use
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. I didn't bake in a water bath either. But I made mini cheesecakes!
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!

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Blogger Maria said...

I love the bites and different flavors. Nice job on the challenge!

April 27, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I am in love with these! Well done!

April 27, 2009 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger April said...

I am impressed with all of your variations! Great job!!

April 27, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous marye said...

aww Megan, first I love the new look of your blog..It is fairly new isn't it? Or have I been dozing for awhile? The cheesecakes look great and thyme is a very daring cheesecake flavor. great job!

April 27, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

Looks like you had so much fun with this challenge. I love your presentation!

April 27, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Patsyk said...

I love that they are nice small bites so you can sample all the great flavors you used!

April 27, 2009 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger glamah16 said...

Thay all look so gorgeous. Its fun to be able to play and experiment with falvaors. Well done.

April 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

YUM! These all look terrific. I love all the mini cheesecakes! :)

April 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Megan those were so yummy and perfect with a glass of wine! I loved the Snickers and Chocolate Hazelnut! yummy...

April 27, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Wow, very impressive! Well done.

April 27, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Reeni said...

What divine flavors! I can't even pick a favorite! I'd love one of each, pretty please?

April 27, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

They all sound delicious but the Nutella one got me.

April 27, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

All of these are wonderful! I love the tiny size. And all the different flavors sound just delicious! Great job.

April 27, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Tammigirl said...

You have made my mouth water. This is terrible of you. Where should I submit my mailing address so you can send me the goods?

April 27, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Cristine said...

I must try that Snickers cheesecake! They all look great!

April 28, 2009 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger A. and M. said...

How can you say no to a nice bite like those..

April 28, 2009 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger breadchick said...

Oh those little bites would be perfect for an appetizer at a dessert only buffet! Great flavors and so cute.

April 28, 2009 at 5:45 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

I can't decide if I'd eat the PB or the nutella one first... mmmmmmmm

April 28, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Megan, I'm drooling! I keep wiping off my keyboard! What delicious inventions. I especially love the lemon variety.
Whether you use curd or marmalade is really just a preference. Me? Either one is fine..they are both delicious. Great job.

April 28, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Niki said...

These look so amazing!! The Snickers one especially looks gooey and delish! I LOVE caramel on cheesecake. Great job!

April 28, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh My God

That's all I can say...

I'm speechless.


April 28, 2009 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Yo quero peanut butter cup cheesecake!

April 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Dragon said...

You are so creative! Great job on this month's challenge.

April 28, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger creampuff said...

Oh, bravo! You get A++++++ for all those wonderful versions!

April 28, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Teanna said...

Seriously, that is amazing! It's like a cupcake shop but with cheesecakes with all of those options! That is some real creativity (and dedication!) Thanks for the SU, I SU'd this just now because it really is so impressive!

April 29, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I finally get to make my malt-o-meal muffins this weekend! Ben's diet is over, praise the HEAVENS!

April 29, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

Rose water? I think I had rose water in a candy bar once. I kinda gagged. But hey, if it tasted good in cheesecake, why not? Great job at experimenting with your cheesecake. I'm coming over for dessert ;)

April 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What a gorgeous presentation! I could never pick a favorite but I'd probably go for...Oh I don't know, ALL of them!

Great job and looks so fun!

May 2, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Great job. Nice flavors and pretty little cakes.

May 2, 2009 at 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Donalyn said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! And I love all of these combos -- the peanut butter cup one looks especially enticing. Pretty pics of the line up too!

May 3, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

Nice variety of variations! And the perfect size for a cheesecake! Lovely!!

May 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger CookiePie said...

You made minis too -- love it! And your flavors sound soooo delicious!

May 4, 2009 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was trying to pick a favorite. At first the lemon thyme looked incredible, but then each additional one (dark chocolate rose? snickers?) just looks like it would taste so good! Great job on this challenge.

And yes, I'm still working through the blogs. Thanks for participating in the April Daring Bakers challenge!

Jenny of Jenny Bakes

May 12, 2009 at 8:21 AM  

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