Daring Bakers April Challenge - Gluten Free Cheesecake

The April Challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes.  She has chosen Abby's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.  I  love, love, LOVE cheesecake!  I think it is probably the best thing ever invented ...ever!  I was excited to make cheesecake for the DB Challenge this month and even more excited to eat it!  I had a hard time deciding what flavor to make.  I prefer fruit and my husband prefers chocolate but I only have one springform pan so I decided to experiment and do half of the cheesecake raspberry swirl and the other half chocolate chip.  It actually worked out really well and I will do it that way again so that we can have more than one kind of cheesecake.  Plus it was super sinple to do.  I poured the batter over my gluten free sponge cake crust and then I swirled raspberry puree through one half and mini chocolate chips through the other half. 

The cheesecake was creamy and absolutely delicious.  I was worried about baking it too long but at 45 minutes it hadn't set.  At 55 minutes it still had a lot of jiggle but because I was so worried about over-baking it I turned the oven off.  It ended up being under-baked and had the appearance of room temperature Brie when I cut into it, but that didn't take away any of the pleasure this creation delivered to our senses.  Next time I will bake it and additional 5 minutes.

I followed the cheesecake recipe except for the crust because it wasn't gluten free.  For my crust I made a gluten free sponge cake - an idea I got from Junior's Cheesecake's in New York (theirs isn't gluten free).
Here are the recipes:

Gluten Free Sponge Cake Crust

1/3 cup gluten free flour blend
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops pure lemon extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (preferably a nonstick one). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
2. In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
3. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat until thick light yellow ribbons form, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the extracts.
4. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand, just until no more white flecks appear. Now, blend in the melted butter.
5. Using a clean bowl and clean beaters. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl and beat with the mixer on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites will stand up and look glossy, not dry). Fold about one-third of the whites into the batter, then the remaining whites. Don’t worry if you still see a few white specks, as they’ll disappear during baking.
6. Gently spread out the batter over the bottom of the pan, and bake just until set but not sticky, 13-15 minutes. Touch the cake gently in the center. If it springs back, it’s done. Watch carefully and don’t let the top brown. Leave the crust in the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
Abby's Infamous Cheesecake:

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
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, (I'm doing mine 60 minutes next time) 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. (I used a 9" springform pan wrapped in foil and it worked well for me.)


Linds Forrest said...

I really should stop reading your blog while I am bored and hungry at work... that's looks quite delicious!!

Cheryl Harris said...

that looks like perfection! congrats on a great challenge. I never would have thought to do a two in one cheesecake, what a great idea!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecake looks awesome!! I love the fruit and chocolate swirl =D.

Libby said...

I love the split flavors! (Reminds me of splitting a pizza in college>) Libby

trishtator said...

I love the two flavors - what a great idea. Keeps everyone happy! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea - two cheesecakes in one! I'll have to remember that trick. And I'm so impressed that you made your own cake crust too. Looks great!


Jeanine - The Baking Beauties said...

What a fantastic idea! Well, 2 of them actually. Love your gf crust, will keep that in mind for next time. And I also love the idea of doing a half and half cake. I wish I'd done a sweeter chocolate/caramel cake, but did fruit instead. Next time!! ;)

Unknown said...

Why not please everyone with one cheesecake? Great idea. :) Thanks for being a part of this challenge. It is taking me a while to get to every post, so sorry for being delayed in commenting.

Jenny of JennyBakes