Wish Upon A Dish: Eggnog Cheesecake/I passed my final exam!!

December 13, 2011

Eggnog Cheesecake/I passed my final exam!!

The reviews are in. Test #2 was a success. I added nutmeg, cinnamon and a pinch of allspice as well as doubling the eggnog and eliminating the sour aspect I usually include in my regular cheesecake. I find that a filling of all cream cheese is just too much and depending on the flavors (berries, spices or purees) I will add sour cream, pureed cottage cheese or ricotta.

By taking out the sour aspect and doubling the eggnog you can actually taste the eggnog.

I traditionally make a 9" cheesecake but this year I am feeding 11 people and that calls for a 12".

Eggnog-Cranberry Cheesecake
Makes 12 servings

Cranberry Sauce:
* 1 cup sugar (can use sub here)
* 1 cup orange juice (no pulp)
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

* 2 packages Honey Graham crackers
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (do not use sub here)
* 2 tablespoons agave nectar
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 4 bricks of cream cheese ( 2 regular, 1 fat-free, 1 low-fat), room temp
* 2 cups eggnog (I used Southern Comfort brand which was tested to be #1 store bought brand)
* 1 cup sugar substitute
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon allspice

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in OJ until smooth. Add cranberries and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

2. Place graham crackers in processor and pulverize. Add cinnamon and sugar and pulse to combine. Add butter and agave and pulse until it starts to stick together.
Pat mixture into bottom of a springform pan that has been lined with parchment paper and about 1" up the side. Use a glass dipped in flour to press the crumbs, but do not press too hard.

3. Bake in a 300F oven for 11 minutes. Remove and cool thoroughly.

4. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix cream cheese with eggnog and add flour, spices and sugar sub. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness and overall flavor. Make any adjustments before adding the eggs. If everything is to your liking, blend in the eggs until just combined. We do not want to add any air to the mixture.

5. Pour into cooled pan, place on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 60-70 minutes or until when you shake the pan, the center just shakes slightly. Shut off oven and leave door ajar (place a kitchen towel or wooden spoon in door) and let it rest for 1 hour.

6. Refrigerate at least 5-6 hours, overnight being the best. Remove from cooler when you sit down to eat. I use unflavored floss to cut my cakes but you could use a cheese wire or warmed slicing knife (a thin bladed knife works best) rewarmed in a glass of hot water and cleaned with a towel each time you slice.

I like to travel with the cake in the springform pan, but if you are going to present it for Christmas dinner, run a knife around the side and place the cake on a stable can. Open the spring and let the side fall down, leaving the cake on the can. Run a warmed icing spatula under the parchment paper and slide it onto your serving platter. Pour the sauce into the middle of the cake or serve it on the side so each guest can pour their own.

Sit down to rave reviews. This is a cheesecake you will get asked to make over and over.

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