Monday, April 27, 2009
Daring Bakers: Pear Cardamom Cheesecake
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Daring Bakers time again! I missed last month, but I'm back - and I got cheesecake! This month, we were asked to get as creative as we wished, with a basic baked cheesecake recipe. Cheesecake is one of those things that I don't mind, but I never make. Or choose, for that matter - there's usually something else that I want more, when it comes right down to it.
So, I was a little bit hesitant.. and as usual when I am hesitant, I don't make a full recipe. I didn't really have an occasion to serve it, and I didn't want to end up throwing half, so I simply cut the recipe in third which made four individual cheescake in ramekins. Perfect! And it came out really, really tasty, too! A little bit cracked on top, probably because I didn't take the time to properly let it cool in the oven, and since I accidentally used low-fat cream cheese, it wasn't as smooth as I imagined it would have been. But who cares? It was still excellent.
For my flavor combination, I wanted to use up a bunch of pears that were starting to look a bit sad in the fruit bowl, and my favorite spice to use with pears is cardamom. And vanilla. So - that's what I did. I omitted the lemon in the basic recipe since I thought that might clash just a bit, and instead upped the vanilla a little. For the full recipe, see Jenny's blog. This is an adaption, and the way I actually used it.
Pear Cardamom Cheesecake
4 individual sized ramekins
60 g digestive biscuits
40 g melted butter
1/2 tbsp sugar
drop of vanilla extract
200 g cream cheese
65 g sugar
1 large egg
80 ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 firm but ripe pears
100 ml water
100 ml sugar
1/2 lemon, the juice of
Begin with the pears. Peel and cut into dice. Mix water, sugar and lemon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the pears, and simmer until soft - 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the syrup. This keeps well in the fridge, if you don't use up all of it.
Now for the crust. Finely crush the biscuits and mix with melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Press into the bottoms of four ramekins.
Beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Mix in the egg and the cream. Stir in vanilla and cardamom and beat everything until well mixed.
Place a few poached pear dice on top of the crust. Top with the cheese mixture, and make sure you divide it evenly between the ramekins.
Place all the ramekins in a small roasting pan. Add boiling water to the pan, so that the water level goes about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Put in the oven at 175°C and bake for about 25 minutes.
Turn the oven off, and open the door slightly. (I propped it open with a wooden spoon.) Leave to cool for an hour, then transfer to the fridge and leave them there overnight.
Serve with some powdered sugar on top, if desired.
You can find the recipe here, the blogroll here, and the discussion forums - open to everyone! - here.
Recipe in Swedish:
Cheesecake med päron och kardemumma