Monday, January 12, 2015

Southern Comfort Eggnog Cheesecake

While the holidays have passed, this is still a very comforting winter treat! 

As seen in Grease Inc. Magzine
Photos by: Brooklyn Brat Images
Dresses by: Lindy Bop

Southern Comfort Eggnog Cheesecake:

Gingersnap Crust:
12 ounces purchased gingersnap cookies (about 48 cookies), finely ground to make about 2½ cups
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Eggnog Filling:
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups Southern Comfort Eggnog 
4 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch sides; use a pastry brush to lightly butter the pan with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to prepare for the bain marie water bath. The foil is to prevent any water from seeping into the cheesecake through the pan seams.
Gingersnap Crust:
In a small mixing bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well and press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan and about ½ inch up the sides. Set aside while you make the filling.
Eggnog Filling:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and flour. Whisk together to mix. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese; mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar mixture; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggnog; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. 

Add the eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions. Tip: crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the cheese mixture. Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
Let the filling rest about 5 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil to use for the bain marie water bath.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the gingersnap crust.

Bake: Set the foil wrapped springform pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan, and close the oven door. Bake 70 to 80 minutes. Tip: The Cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center 2 to 3 inches are still a pool of liquid batter. The cake should look as though it has puffed a little and just barely beginning to brown. The center will still be soft and jiggly when the pan is lightly jarred or tapped with a spoon.
Remove from oven, place springform pan on a wire cooling rack to cool. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, gently pressing into the side of the pan to avoid gouging the cake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks. When cheesecake is completely cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving.
Top with caramel sauce

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