Thursday, January 22, 2009

Creamy Amaretto Cheesecake

It's the cheesecake that bites back! There is no mistaking what gives this cheesecake the extra kick. But the alcohol and cottage cheese made the cheesecake more moist, so I ended up baking it considerably longer than the recipe called for (a little over an hour.) Even so, it was extremely soft when I cut into it, and the crust isn't crunchy. And my bottle of amaretto ran out, so I didn't even use the full amount; I used maybe 1/3 of a cup instead of 1/2.

It's not a bad cheesecake, but I'm still a little disappointed. Right before I put it in the refrigerator to finish cooling, I loosened the edges with a knife and of course, licked the knife clean. It was really good warm, and I think this custard would actually lend itself better to being baked in small ramekins and served warm.

Please note the lightly browned, and pristine top of the cheesecake. Was it because I actually did a proper water bath this time? Or did the water bath contribute to the cheesecake being too moist? Who knows. Just make this. In ramekins. And pass me one.

Creamy Amaretto Cheesecake
Source: Modified from The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary, p 49.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese (pureed in food processor)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2cup almond-flavored liqueur

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese, cottage cheese, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in zest and liqueur.

Pour over crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in water bath until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Crack oven and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cool for an additional hour before refrigerating for 6 hours.

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