Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Silky, Savory Sweetness!

My first experience making a cheesecake during my college years was with a store bought graham cracker crust, some vanilla flavoring and some cream cheese. It was flat, it was tasteless and it was...well...cheesy! So that experience almost deterred me from trying cheesecakes again. But since that time I have definitely turned a corner!

After spending $7-12 buying cheesecake by the slice, I decided that to enjoy the number of pieces I wanted, I needed to learn to make my own, gourmet style.

Making cheesecake is fairly simple. Making great cheesecake largely depends on the ingredients you select, the way you bake the cheesecake and how it cools. For starters, I don't use low-fat or reduced fat cream cheese and I always use Philadelphia Cream cheese for my cheesecake baking. Secondly, I always use a water bath to ensure the cheesecake cooks evenly and gently and there is no cracking.

Irish Cream Cheesecake

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c toasted almonds
1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp Amaretto

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse ingredients until finely ground and the mixture resembles moist sand. Press the crumbs into bottom of springform pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

24 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1 c sugar
4 eggs
1/3 c whipping cream
1/4 c Irish cream liqueur
1/2 tsp Amaretto

Beat softened cream cheese at high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in whipping cream and flavorings/liqueur. Pour into prepared pan.

To prepare water bath: Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove top. Wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan in aluminum foil. Place the springform pan in a baking pan large enough to hold it. Fill the baking pan with just enough water to go halfway up the outside of the springform pan.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes. Cheesecake will have a slightly jiggly middle.

1 1/2 c sour cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c almonds

Combine sour cream, sugar and extract in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Spoon over cheesecake. Sprinkle almonds around edge of cheesecake and bake for 5 additional minutes.

Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven for an hour with oven door slightly ajar. Remove cheesecake from oven. Cool for another hour on rack. Remove from springform pan. Refrigerate and allow to set overnight.

Now if you can pull this off, trust me, it will be well worth it. It is very rich so a little goes a long way.

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, baked by Virtually Everything Sweet, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.


  1. Girl, this looks too good to eat..great presentation. I think I will try day.

  2. This is one gorgeous lookin cheesecake. And it sounds mighty tastey too!

  3. Thanks ladies. It is so rich and decadent. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts but, sadly, I am having to cut back on eating them because of the dairy. You definitely have to try it.