Apple-Baked Cheesecake


My Sunday mission was to attempt something slightly out of my comfort zone, and seeing that baking is not really my forte; I thought that I would try a Brown Sugar-Apple Baked Cheesecake (yip mouthful…)which I found on the delightful blog of Joy the Baker.
There is something about baking that  scares me, not sure if it’s the precision and rigmorale of sticking to the exact quantities and ingredients of the recipe as I love the freedom of cooking out of my head and going on taste, which is a definite taboo in the baking world! But whatever it is I think my fear was slightly quelled by my Sunday Cheesecake expedition, which actually turned out surprisingly well and was a real crowd pleaser!
This is not the simplest of recipes, it definitely involved quite a bit of effort and time, but was fun and well worth it. I went on the authors recommendations of doing the cheesecake in a rectangular dish and halving the recipe for the filling so that the dish has an equal focus on the crust and the filling. This worked perfectly for me (although I will give you the original recipe with, you can choose to half the filling, if desired).

BROWN SUGAR-APPLE BAKED CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust:

30 ginger snaps

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the Apples:

1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter

3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eights.

2 Tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar

For the Filling: (original recipe):

1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons apple cider

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup heavy cream

METHOD:

To make the Crust-

1. Butter the bottom and the sides of a 10 inch spring form pan. (I had no idea what this was, but figured its a pan that bakes in water, so I made my own and baked the dish in another dish and surrounded it with boiling water)

2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs. Pulse in the sugar and the cinnamon, if you’re using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.

3. Turn the crumbs into the spring form pan and, using your finger tips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they’ll go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling. Leave the oven at 350 degrees F

1. Butter the bottom and the sides of a 10 inch spring form pan.

2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs. Pulse in the sugar and the cinnamon, if you’re using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.

3. Turn the crumbs into the spring form pan and, using your finger tips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they’ll go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling. Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.

To make the Apples-

1. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

2. When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and cook them, turning until just coated, for another minute or so.

3. Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet, and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.

To make the Filling-

1. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fit with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping the bowl down often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth.

2. Add the sugar and beat for another two minutes . Beat in the cider, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

3. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs, one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Finally, beat in the heavy cream and sour cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.

4. Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan. (I used a foiled lined 9 x 7 inch baking pan. Also, I didn’t add apples into the cheesecake itself, I added the apples on top of the cheesecake once out of the oven and cooled.)

5. Cover with the remaining batter, and if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top.

6. Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour enough boiling water in to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

7. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30-45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent ath e 45- minute mark. (I baked my cake for 45-50 minutes). The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possible, in the very center- if the center shimmies, that’s just fine.

8. Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours, overnight would be better.

9. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pans latch and release and remove the sides. (I lifted the cheesecake out with the overhanging foil flaps and gently removed the foil from the sides of the cheesecake, then I cut the cheesecake into 8 bars and topped with the apple mixture.)

Hello Fox


I found myself back at Wolves this Friday for my daily caffeine fix and to sample some of their  irresistible Humingbird cake, DELICIOUS – its made with banana’s, pecan nuts and topped with cream cheese icing, kinda like carrot cake!! Just best I avoid this becoming a habit, not sure daily doses of Humingbird cake are good for the pre-bikini season regime??

Humingbird Cake, yummy…

What I really wanted to chat about was the surprise shopping spree that I went on whilst sipping tea, found some gorgeous jewelry, made by Hello Fox, they are cute little button-type earings, they’re original, reasonable and fun and for sale at Wolves, go check them out!

My new purchases, thanks Hello Fox!

Wolves


Read the review on Wolves in Illovo in yesterday’s paper and decided that it was definitely due a visit. Started up by the guys from Desmond and the Tutus as a place for them to chill and hang out with their mates… and that’s exactly what it is, a great spot with a chilled back and relaxed vibe – the minimalistic, vintage decor and wafting aromas of coffee definitely contribute to the homely atmosphere. anything goes and it’s the type of place you can lounge around at for an entire afternoon – which is exactly what we did, aided my numerous mugs of absolutely delectable and delicious cappuccino’s and tea (served in gorgeous cups). highly recommended and cant wait to try it out on Thursday nights for their live music evenings, I will definitely be paying them another visit soon.

LOCATION: 4 Corlett Drive, Illovo