Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake

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So much has changed over the past 15 months.  Our family has been through so much, too much.  This year for Easter we didn’t even get together as a family.  I had decided that I was not even going to bake! Why would I? It was just 3 of us at dinner.

I was then asked to make some desserts for another family, a Cherry Cheesecake and some cupcakes.  Then I got the ‘itch’, I must bake!

I was not totally convinced the cherry cheesecake I made had turned out.  You can’t always tell until you cut into them (fingers crossed, I haven’t heard).  I felt I needed to redeem myself, so I decided to make us a cheesecake.  All this was decided on Good Friday – when all the stores are closed and Saturday the stores were a zoo.  It always amazes me how people completely panic when a store closes for a day.  You would think they would never be able to get food again.  Anyways, I was not going to be shopping, I had to use what I had in the house.

I found a recipe for Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake. As intrigued as I was, I was not sure it  would be good.  I am a cinnamon freak, so the thought of it was just about making me drool, but I was not sure how it would pair with the cream cheese.  I was skeptical enough to only make a mini one and halved the recipe.  I also made a back up recipe!

I found this recipe on Life, Love and Sugar.  Check out the site, there are some amazing recipes.

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

This is the full recipe – I halved it

Crust
1 1/2 cups nilla wafer crumbs * ( i used grahm crumbs)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp butter
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients and mix well.

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3. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

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4. Bake crust for 10 minutes then remove and set aside.

5. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
Cheesecake filling

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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3. Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.

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4. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat on low speed until well combined. Set aside.

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Cinnamon filling

2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
5 tbsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
12 tbsp butter, melted
1. In another medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.

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2. Stir in melted butter.

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Assembly
1. Break apart cinnamon mixture and sprinkle pieces over the bottom of the crust, about 1/4 of the cinnamon mixture.
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2. Spread about 1/3 of the cheesecake filling over the cinnamon mixture.

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3. Repeat steps 7 and 8 two more times, for a total of three layers of cinnamon and three layers of cheesecake filling.

4. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over top of cheesecake.

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5. Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another pan. Fill outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Icing
2 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tbsp milk
Ran out of time and forgot to take pictures of this process.  Also, threw it together at the end, not the greatest decorative job!
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Looks delicious – minus the horrible icing job
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Layers and layers of cinnamon deliciousness and it smells amazing!
With all the changes this year, I decided to start a new tradition…

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I have had this magnet on my fridge for many years.  This year has shown us too many times that life in fact is way too short.  So….. we had dessert first!  I figured, I made them, I can serve them when I want, haha!  Also, now, no one can say ‘oh I want to, just no room, I ate too much supper!’.  Plus, still the option to have more after dinner.  Really, win-win!!
We enjoyed this mid afternoon – well before dinner
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Absolutely amazing!
As I said before, I was not sure how the two flavours would meld together.  All I can say is perfection!  The cinnamon layers had a subtle crunch to them which added a nice texture to the smooth cheesecake.  The strong cinnamon flavour really came though.  It really tasted like a cinnamon bun!
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I will definitely be making this again, and the full recipe.  This may just be my new favourite cheesecake.
What a wonderful way to start a new tradition!
Thank you Lindsay from Life, Love and Sugar – Life’s better with Cake (oh so true!)

 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

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I am very behind on my posts, but I am back at it!  Let’s back up to Easter…yes that long ago.

This years Easter cheesecake I went with something I had seen before, but was very hesitant to try.  Carrot Cake Cheesecake combines both the cheesecake and real cake. It looked amazing but I was very nervous about how the 2 would bake together.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Cheesecake:

2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

For the cheesecake

  1. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour until smooth.20160326_142440

    2. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix just until blended. Set aside.

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Carrot Cake:

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound finely grated carrots (1 cup or so)

  1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.

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  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light creamy and light.

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    3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt until just combined.

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  3. Mix in the carrots.

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5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
7. Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.

**I did add a Graham Cracker crust, I can’t imagine a cheesecake without that crust!

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8. Dollop half of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large spoonfuls. Don’t spread or swirl together. Just dollop.
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9. Dollop the rest of the carrot cake batter on and around the spoonfuls of cheesecake batter. Again, don’t spread it out. If the lumpiness is stressing you out.
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10. Spread the last half of the cheesecake batter on top of all the layers and spread with an offset spatula into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.
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**I baked mine in a water bath, as I usually do.  Bake yours as you wish
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11. Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes (check earlier if using a 10-inch springform pan; it won’t bake as long as a 9-inch pan), tenting the top of the cheesecake with foil the last 20 -30 minutes of baking if it is browning too quickly. The cheesecake will puff a great deal in the oven thanks to the leavening in the carrot cake and it might even crack. That’s ok. It will settle after it cools and will be covered with frosting so the cracks won’t matter. Take care not to overbake the cheesecake or the carrot cake bottom and sides will be dry. It’s a fine balance between taking it out before it’s overbaked but not so early that the cake batter is still raw. Keep in mind that each oven can vary in temperature so watch closely as it gets to the 60 minute mark. The top center part of the cheesecake (just about a 2- or 3-inch diameter circle) should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.
Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.
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Cream Cheese Frosting:
**I did not use this Cream Cheese Frosting, I used my own

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sour cream

12. While it cools, make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is well-combined with no lumps. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

13. When the cheesecake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance.

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Look at that!

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This cheesecake tastes every bit as good as it looked

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Huge success!  Everyone loved it!  I thought the cake part was a little under-cooked or too moist, it seemed a little wet.  Everyone disagreed.

It really tasted like a carrot cake.  All the spices came through.  The tang of the cream cheese blended perfectly. I am glad I added the Graham Crust layer, the crunch really gave a nice contracting texture.

I will definitely be making this again!

 

Thank you for sharing Mel, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

 

 

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Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake

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Happy Easter!

We had our big family Easter dinner on Good Friday.  It is great to get family together over the holidays, I just wish everyone could have been there!  We had a wonderful dinner, not typical of an Easter dinner but delicious!  Mom cooked a huge pork loin and a large roast beef, both on the bbq.  She also made baked beans, broccoli cauliflower salad and coleslaw.  My aunts and uncles brought potato salad and macaroni salad, along with pickled beets and buns.  Everything was excellent, right down to the table set for 17!

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Another reason to love holiday meals with family is I get to bake!  This year Easter weekend fell on my Gramma’s birthday.  She requested lemon birthday cake, it turned out pretty good, you can see it here.  Now deciding on a cheesecake flavour! You would think everyone would get sick of cheesecake, but when asked it seems to still be the main request.  This time, I went with a simple flavour that I knew everyone would like (it is hard to please that many people with a flavour), chocolate.

I was feeling very confident in my cheesecake making, I have made quite a few and 99% have been successful.  I thought I would mix it up a little and try something different.  Aspects of  two different cheesecakes intrigued me.  I liked how The Brown Eyed Baker put cocoa powder in the base of her Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake and how at Fine Cooking they whipped with melted chocolate right into the cream cheese at the beginning of the mixing process of their Extreme Chocolate Cheesecake.  They were both different as they used 4 eggs and no cream.  I incorporated all of these ideas into my Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake!

 

Extremely Chocolatey Cheesecake

Filling

3 pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
10 oz semi sweet chocolate
4 eggs
3/4 cup cream
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Chocolate for shaving

Crust

1 1/4 cups Oreo Cookie crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºC and start boiling water for your water bath

2. In a spring form pan combine cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter – press to form even crust

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3. Bake for 8 minutes and set aside to cool

Filling

1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and set aside to cool

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2. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder.  Whipping until smooth

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3. Slowly add the, room temperature, melted chocolate

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4. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg

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5. Add cream, vanilla and pinch of salt

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6. Cover spring form pan with parchment paper and heavy foil wrap to keep water out

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7. Place in a large roasting pan and fill half way up the sides of the spring form pan with the hot water

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8.  Bake 45 to 55 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. 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.

** and this is when things went terribly wrong….

ACK!  It cracked! What the heck?!? my cheesecakes don’t crack!  I was furious and shocked all at the same time.  And this was DURING the cooking, not even on the cool down!

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It didn’t just crack, this is a crater of epic proportions.  Seemed like you could lose a Smart Car in there.

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At this point I need to turn to plan B.  I can not nicely shave chocolate around the edges and serve this!  Thankfully, I had some chocolate left over and had to resort to a chocolate ganache

As I cover the edges in Milk Chocolate Chips I start preparing the ganache…

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Ganache

3 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp cream

1. Melt chocolate and corn syrup in a double boiler

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2. Add cream and stir until smooth – I am still flustered at this point and forgot some pictures of the completed ganache

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3. Pour over top of cheesecake to hide the massive cracks!

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Done! Not at all how I had envisioned it, but it looks ok.

I did fill a few people in on the ‘secret crater’, they only laughed at me.  I was seriously stressed wondering how it was going to taste!

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Thankfully, it was delicious!  It got rave reviews.  It was so rich and chocolatey, sinfully delicious.  Now, if I could only figure out what made it crack? The flavour was there, but the presentation was not!

Any suggestions as to what happened????

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