Here it is, down to the wire. Still über busy but I wasn’t gonna let the posting date for this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge  pass me by!
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I have made cheesecakes in the past but it’s been a long while and I was very excited to try this challenge because the recipe provided was more of a template than a blueprint. Not only did the hosts provide variations for us to choose from, they really encouraged us to let our imaginations run wild re: accompaniments
Using the basic recipe (available at Jenny Bakes ) as my guide I decided to add in some chocolate, cayenne and cinnamon to make the Mexican Turtle adaptation.
For my crust I decided to try out a local pre-made mixture (that was quite excellent actually, Sharon’s is yet to let me down) and as the side I came up with a Banana Rum Sauce (due to a surplus banana supply courtesy of a birthday fruit basket).
Another change that I made to the original recipe was I placed a pan of water below the cheesecake rather than immersing the cheesecake in the water itself. This was more because I was using a springform pan and didn’t want to risk leakage. I must say I am intrigued by the water immersion method though, and am considering using a regular or disposable cake pan to give it a try sometime
Even though the cake looked slightly odd when it first came out the oven (the surface had bubbly mounds that reminded me of a pizza) J told me to relax and let it settle overnight as recommended. Sage advice as everything looked a lot better the next morning. There was more cracking around the circumference than I would have liked and I wonder if this had to do with using a black springform pan, or not immersing it in the water? More trial and error may be necessary in the future. Still, at the end of the day, a recipe’s success for me lies in its taste.
So how was it? It definitely hit it out of the park. Without a doubt this is the creamiest and smoothest cheesecake that I’ve made to date. The amount of chocolate, cayenne and cinnamon in the variation left a very delicate impression which though pleasing was probably a little less bold than I was going for, so when making it again I think I will double (or maybe even triple) each 😛
And the banana rum sauce? It was sublime and really complemented the mild chocolate flavour of the cheesecake. Be sure to caramelize the bananas and the sauce until a deep golden brown color is achieved. The bananas really should be almost seamless texturally from the sauce itself I think this sauce would also be great with milder flavoured icecreams, such as vanilla as well, and with pancakes. Play around why don’t ya?
Sarina’s Banana Rum Sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 thinly sliced banana
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons rum
1. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, bananas, salt and water
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbly
3. Turn heat to low and let simmer until bananas are golden brown
4. Add butter and rum and stir until butter is melted