Monday, April 27, 2009

April Daring Bakers Challenge: It's Cheesecake Time!

Daring Bakers Ginger Lemon Cheesecake Cupcake!
Shhhh. It's confession time. Are you ready? Um, I don't really like cheesecake. I just don't. It's generally too rich. The fruit toppings tend to be cloying and artificial. When I saw that this month's DB challenge was going to be cheesecake I wasn't exactly over the moon excited. But then I started seeing photos of what fellow DB's had concocted and their combinations were so inventive, so creative that I knew that I wanted in on this recipe. So I headed to the pantry and decided to whip up some lemon ginger cheesecake cupcakes with a chocolate ganache...

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. You can find the original recipe on her blog. Here's what I did...

Lemon Ginger Cheesecake Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped

ganache:
4 oz of dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with 24 paper liners

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and divide evenly between the cupcake cups. Press the crust into the bottom. Set aside.

3. 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 crystallized ginger and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared cups and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface.

5. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, 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.

6. Cool cupcakes for one hour then remove from pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and put in the fridge and chill for at least 6 hours.

7. Place chopped dark chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Spoon chocolate ganache over fully chilled cupcakes. Return cupcakes to the refrigerator and chill for another 1-2 hours. Sprinkle with chopped crystalized ginger then serve.

Lawman loved it. He really like the toothsomeness of the ginger and I have to admit as a non cheesecake lover this was pretty darn good. For those who feel that cheese cake is a bit rich the cupcake form was the perfect serving size. So good you might want to have two...

Thanks, Jenny for a great challenge!

5 comments:

♥♥♥♥♥ Jennifer™® ♥♥♥♥♥ said...

your blog is very nice

Bear Silber said...

I make the best cheesecake, I swear:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bearsilber/3064350139/

It's so easy. People think it's difficult but it ain't :P

Valérie said...

Great flavour combination!

Jenny said...

Cheesecake isn't my favorite either, but I found this allowed for so many variations! Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Amanda Crowe said...

Yummy! This does sound delicious with all those lovely, colorful ingredients.... a 'big kid' like me wants to eat too! =D