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Your best cheesecakes, please. (No savory ones!)

I have gone into a cheesecake phase. I want to make a lot of different ones. I found a book in a local used store called _Cheesecake Madness_ (love the title) and it has my own creative juices flowing.

I must be better at it than I thought, because the pineapple macadamia nut cheesecake I sent up to My father in law's retirement party disappeared in under five minutes, and my mother in law was hollering amazed joyful hollers down the phone line.

What are your favorite inspired personal recipes?

I want to try pumpkin-with maybe a struesel kindsa crust and topping.

Maybe red-bean, or lotus paste!

Definitely my own Oreo.

Ginger? YEs!

I was thinking of maybe, somehow, doing a cheesecake with a scone crust? Clotted cream and jam on top?

Green Tea?

WHite, milk and dark chocolate swirl.

Gimme ideas!

NO CHOCOLATE BACON, PLEASE! I AM SICK OF CHOCOLATE BACON THINGS!

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  1. This is a crustless cheesecake I made awhile back for a Christmas holiday - it has become a family (and friends) favorite. Even a friend who said he doesn't usually eat dessert ate a decent sliced slice of it at a dinner last summer. I don't recall where I originally got the recipe (one link says Food & Wine from 11/92), but this is it exactly (posted by someone else who found it as well!)

    http://recipes.recipeland.com/recipes...

    I've made it with a gingersnap crust, but it seriously doesn' t need it. This is a light cheesecake (the sour cream helps lighten it) - I don't like leaden, sinks-in-your-belly cheesecakes.

    It looks like this cheesecake - but without the crust. http://www.joyofbaking.com/CranberryS...

    1. Cheesecakes are pretty fool proof, as long as you have the right technique. You can play w/ the number of eggs, cream cheese, adding sour cream, etc. For the crust, I use whatever "cookie" type base that's appropriate for the type of cheesecake. So, gingersnaps for pumpkin, granola for a key lime. I've also done a "leftover" cookie cust where I use whatever I have in the pantry--a good use for girl scout cookies that I didn't want to buy in the first place. I used their dulce de leche cookies for a dulce de leche cheesecake. Trefoils make a good base, using less sugar. It's good w/ an orange vanilla--kind of like a creamsicle cheesecake. If you use the regular graham crackers, I like to use brown sugar for a more caramel taste. With any swirl, just remove some of the cheesecake batter, add it in and swirl on top. I also like making a carrot cake base for a cheesecake.

      I like the idea of a scone and clotted cream. I'd probably bake a large scone in the base of the springform pan, bake the cheesecake on top, swirling jam in part of the batter. Once done, top w/ clotted cream. I've done it w/ a Boston cream pie base cake, cream cheese on top and layered fruit over that w/ apricot jam brushed on top and it was really good.

      You can also use mascarpone cream instead of a cream cheese but I like to go w/ more basic flavors so you don't overwhelm the mascarpone cheese.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        That's what I figured, for the scone crust. Bake it in the pan already, maybe with an egg wash, top it with the batter, top all with the clotted cream and a drizzle of more jam.

        With the numerous types of scones and jams, one could do a lot.

        Ginger scone ginger cheesecake with lemon curd.

        Currant scone crust with regular cheesecake and currant jam on top

        Plain scone crust with strawberry Jam and

        Gooseberry scone crust...

        and on and on!

        1. re: chowser

          chowser, I love the idea of the granola crust for the key lime. (Love key lime anything.) Do you reduce the granola to crumbs?

          1. re: Normandie

            I use a food processor and do it to large crumbs but I'm sure it would be fine w/ larger lumps, too. I do something along the lines of this crust for a two layer key lime pie for the crust.

            http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/ind...

        2. My favourite is crustless ricotta cheesecake with a dulce de leche glazing.

          1. I make a pumpkin cheesecake for my family every Thanksgiving and I like to make an old fashioned graham cracker crust for it. Also, for a large party, I sometimes make cheescake bars instead of a pie since it tends to serve more.

            3 Replies
            1. re: CreativeFoodie42

              Mmmmm....a gingersnap crust would be good with a pumpkin cheesecake as well! I don't think I could get away with making a cheesecake for T'giving tho - that is probably the one holiday that family demands both an apple and pumpkin.

              Maybe at Christmas. :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Maybe I'll try a gingersnap and graham cracker combo? I think the gingersnaps alone will be too much for the pie. And we are a dessert family - there is also an apple and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!

                1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                  The combo would definitely work - if you have a Trader Joe's near you, their Triple Gingersnaps would be perfect - little bits of candied ginger in the cookies!

            2. The most delicious cheesecake I ever ate was from Marino's restaurants in Los Angeles. Here's the recipe:

              http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

              1 Reply
              1. re: mnosyne

                Wonderful use of rose water and orange blossom water!

              2. Diana's Favorite Lemon Mousse Cheesecake, linked below, is very good. I'm not sure that "mousse" is the right word. It's definitely lighter than a lot of cheesecakes, but not really very mousse-like. It's extra lemony, with the addition of the lemon curd spread on top. And, if you like, you can top the curd with almost any seasonal berry.

                I think you could also substitute the graham cracker crust with a gingersnap crust, as discussed above, if you're so inclined.

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ca...

                1. i just saw this honey ricotta cheesecake on jessica's dinner party blog, and it looked great: http://www.jessicasdinnerparty.com/20...

                  1. One of my favorites is an amaretto cheesecake with an almond crust: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                    I recently made a triple berry cheesecake using a ginger-pecan crust: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                    And pumpkin-praline was good too: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2... (scroll down)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                      Can I leave the nuts out? I hate nuts...except pine nuts...which I think aren't really nuts.

                      1. re: 1munchy1

                        For the amaretto cheesecake or for all the ones I mentioned? How do you feel about amaretto liqueur, which is used in the first one? You could totally use a regular graham cracker crust, or even a chocolate one. And the triple berry cheesecake originally used a graham crust, but I switched it for pecans and candied ginger because one of the group had gluten issues. I play around with the crusts all the time. :)

                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                          Sorry, I loathe amaretto and all things made with it. Could I replace it with another flavoring?

                          Just all your cheesecakes have nuts, and I hate desserts and bakedd goods with nuts in them. And raisins.

                    2. Cheesecake
                      Oven - preheat 350 degrees
                      1 9 inch springform cake pan

                      Crust: 1 /2 cup butter, 20 graham crackers crushed and sieved, 1/4 cup sugar,

                      Filling: 4 egg whites, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1 cup sugar, (3) 8 oz pkgs of cream cheese
                      1 tsp vanilla

                      Topping: 2 Cups sour cream
                      1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla

                      To make the crust: melt the butter and combine the sugar and graham craker crumbs. Mix it well, and press it into a 9 inch springform cake pan.

                      To make the filling: In a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff gradually add the sugar. Whip cream cheese with the vanilla, until well blended and soft. Fold in the whites until well blended, being careful to keep the egg whites fluffy. Pour into the prepared pan with the graham cracker crust.

                      Bake for about 25 minutes - to test for doneness move the pan, and if there is a lot of jiggle let it continue to cook for another 10 mins. There should be a little jiggle, but obviously if its too loose it need a few more minutes.

                      To make the topping combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla Add this to the cake top. You should bake for 5 more minutes at 450 and no longer. Then remove and chill.
                      Once it has chilled you can add fresh fruit or fruit topping. If you use fresh fruit, like strawberries,pineapple, kiwi, and or blueberries, heat some apple jelly, and paint the fruit.
                      Then chill the cheesecake until ready to serve.

                      1. Benoit Lenglet, the chef at Montreal's Au Cinquième Péché, has come up with a trippy twist that's a nod to the flavours of his native Béthune, a village in France's Flemish-influenced Pas de Calais region. He makes the crust from crushed speculoos (aka speculaas), a cinnamon-heavy spice cookie often cut into windmill and other shapes. He flavours the cheesecake proper with chicory (I imagine he uses liquid chicory root extract). The topping is endives he caramelizes with honey. He garnishes the plates with sea buckthorn preserves but says you could use any kind of acidic fruit preserves instead.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: carswell

                          how in the world does that concoction actually taste?

                          i was starting out happy with the speculoos crust, but by the time you got to chicory and honey-caramelized endives....you lost me.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            It's amazing. You order it on faith ("Endives? Seriously?") and then can't believe how well it works. Like most of his desserts, it's not particularly sweet, so the complex flavours all come through, with the endives adding an intriguing hint of vegetal bitterness.

                            It's not just me, either. The first time I tried it was back in June. After dessert, my dining companion went to the powder room, leaving me with my thoughts and snippets of conversation from the table next to ours (the place is tiny and the tables are very close together). Before long, I deduced that the party at the other table was visiting chowhounds whom I'd recommended the restaurant to a few days earlier, so I introduced myself. They were getting ready to order dessert and were doubtful about the cheesecake. I encouraged them to try it. Not only did they love it, they practically fought over it.

                            1. re: carswell

                              i'm somehow envisioning mr. spock, saying "fascinating." ;-). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFods1...

                              i'll have to put that restaurant and dessert on my dining "to do" list for our visit to montreal. http://www.aucinquiemepeche.com/menu.htm
                              and mr. alka and i can also share the choco "bounty" lime panna cotta.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                a5p's a great place. Inventive yet comforting. Serious about food, wine and service but casual about everything else. The kind of resto that makes me glad I call Montreal home. Don't know when you plan to come but be aware that they usually close for a week or two at the end of August.

                                The choco "Bounty" is fun, too, a wink at the Bounty chocolate-coconut candy bar, though taken to another level. Fascinating, you might say...

                                1. re: carswell

                                  tee hee! i think our trip will be in the late autumn....

                        2. Coffee Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake! The entire website is a marvel but the coffee varirety really say WOW to me. Enjoy!
                          http://www.101cheesecakerecipes.com/c...

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            I made a caramel macchiato cheesecake (not that recipe, though) for my Starbucks-loving nieces. It was a big hit.

                            1. re: chowser

                              chowser, care to share the recipe for your version?!

                              1. re: HillJ

                                I rarely follow cheesecake directions exactly but this was the base:

                                http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Caramel-...

                                I think I added espresso powder to the graham cracker crust. Made dulce de leche for the caramel. Then, I reserved a cup or so of the cheesecake batter, mixed in some of the dulce de leche, and dolloped it on, swirl w/ knife. I did use a waterbath for the cheesecake. And, real whipped cream w/ rum (hmm, maybe my nieces just liked the rum).

                                1. re: chowser

                                  oh my goodness chowser, you had me at espresso powder!
                                  Wonderful swaps. Tyou.

                          2. I've tried so many great cheesecakes, but these are the two my husband (and guests) always request again:

                            Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping (especially at Thanksgiving)
                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            And one from a back issue of Gourmet 1991 that isn't on Epicurious:
                            Stumptown Station's Rum Raisin Cheesecake with gingersnap crust

                            photo
                            http://www.chow.com/photos/300157

                            and past discussion
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5854...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Rubee

                              Here is the Stumptown cheesecake recipe. I was cleaning out my recipe shelf, and typed this up before throwing out the Gourmet magazine from March 1991.
                              Streusel Cheesecake Stumptown Station
                              Whitefish, MT
                              Gourmet Magazine March 1991

                              The cheesecake is best served the day after preparation.

                              Ingredients
                              a 1-lb box gingersnaps, ground fine
                              1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 stick (1/2 c) butter chilled and cut into bits
                              6 large eggs
                              3 c granulated sugar (2 + 1)
                              1 t vanilla
                              1 t fresh lemon juice
                              3 lb cream cheese, softened
                              3/4 c raisins
                              1/4 c light rum
                              1 t freshly grated lemon zest
                              1 c heavy cream
                              1/2 c all purpose flour
                              1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar

                              In a 10" springform pan, combine well the gingersnaps and melted butter. Press the mixture on the botton and up the side of the pan.
                              Preheat oven to 350.
                              In a food processor or in a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the eggs, 2 cups of the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and the cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan.
                              Bake the cheesecake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake stand in the overn wth the door ajar for 1 hour.
                              While the cheesecake is standing, in a small bowl, let the raisins macerate in the rum and 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes. Drain.
                              In a saucepan combine the macerated raisins, zest, 1 cup sugar, and the cream. Bring to a boil, and stir while boiling for 5-6 minutes or until it is thickened slightly. Let the mixture cool.
                              In a bowl blend together the flour, brown sugar, and the chilled butter until the mixture resembles course meal.
                              Spread the raisin mixture over the cheesecake, sprinkle it with the flour mixture, and broil the cheesecake under a preheated broiler about 4" away from the heat for 2-3 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling on top.
                              Let the cheesecake cool slightly and chill it, covered loosely, for at least 2 hours or overnight.

                              1. re: mplieber

                                Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! Love love this cheesecake. In fact, now that you've mentioned it, I think I'll make it for NYE.

                            2. This thread is exactly what I need. The significant other is requesting one thing and one thing only for his birthday this month. A goat cheese cheesecake. He bought one from one of the dessert trucks here in nyc, I think. He raved, then brought it home to me I was not fond of the mushy texture but believe it could have been travel wear and tear. Anyone have any goat cheese cheesecakes they love?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kayEx

                                those cookie dough flavors make great additions to cheesecakes - just blob in lots and lots.

                                I also love melted chocolate add brandy and swirl into your cheesecake mix, add some strong black coffee for a mocha brandy swirl.

                              2. Maybe not the most original, but I made a pretty good Baileys cheesecake, and topped it with Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate ganache. I used an oreo crumb base, but I think next time I'd probably use something less sweet.

                                I also made a toblerone swirl cheesecake, which turned out amazing.

                                1. I used a chocolate brownie as the crust for my latte cheesecake: http://alpineberry.blogspot.com/2009/...

                                  BTW, love the idea of a scone crust!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. so far everyone Ioves a salted caramel cheesecake I made, basically a regular cheesecake with caramel sauce poured on after.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: drewb123

                                      anybody have a recipe using goat cheese? I tried it once at a restaurant and it was fabulous. Have been looking ever since for something similar. I suppose I could try to duplicate on my own but just wondering.....thanks.
                                      p.s. these all sound pretty amazing...esp. the lemon mousse and honey ricotta.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        milly, i don't know where you've looked, but google gave me many goat cheese cheesecake recipes http://www.google.com/search?client=s... , e.g., this one adapted from nyc's river café. http://www.clintonhillfoodie.com/2008...

                                        i really like the looks of this individual goat cheese cheesecake encrusted with hazelnut brittle and served with a blood orange caramel sauce: http://dessertfirst.typepad.com/desse...

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          OMG alkapal, thank you!! I don't know how but I missed these, and they all look fantastic. Def gonna give them a try, esp now that fall is upon us.
                                          Thanks again.

                                        2. re: millygirl

                                          I made my first cheesecake not too long ago, and it consisted of fig flavoured, unripened goat cheese and yogurt. For the crust, I used crushed Kashi TLC Honey Sesame crackers. Big hit at the office.

                                          1. re: zseckley

                                            man, i wish i worked at *your* office. ;-).

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              I wish the people at my office had that reaction when I told them what kind of cheesecake it was. Had to get most of them to try it first, then tell them.

                                      2. This one came about because I was looking for an easy way to make the crust. In the past I have made the Lindy's cheesecake with the cookie crust but I am too lazy for that these days. I had a box of Krusteaz Lemon Bars in my cabinet and it comes with a pouch of already made crust -- what could be easier than that? The lime filling is mostly sugar, so I mixed that with cream cheese (maybe 3 boxes?) and eggs (3?) and maybe some cream or sour cream and it made a great mildly lime-y cheesecake. You could also use the lemon bar mix, if you prefer.

                                        1. I got this recipe from a cooking class I took a long time ago, but it's been a solid hit each time I've made it; in both the regular size as well as minis for gift giving:

                                          White chocolate cranberry cheesecake

                                          Yields 10" spring form pan

                                          Crust:
                                          2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
                                          1 stick butter melted

                                          Combine the cookie and butter thoroughly. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10" spring form pan.

                                          Cheesecake:
                                          1/4 cup sour cream
                                          3 lbs cream cheese softened
                                          1 1/2 cups sugar
                                          3 whole eggs
                                          2 egg yolks
                                          1 tsp vanilla
                                          1 lb white chocolate chopped
                                          1 cup heavy cream
                                          1 tsp butter
                                          8 oz dried cranberries

                                          Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
                                          Heat the heavy cream and butter together over medium heat. Pour heated cream over white chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Slowly add the white chocolate mixture, continue to beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dried cranberries. Pour over the ginger snap crust. Bake approximately one hour. Cheesecake is done when it only slightly jiggles when tapped.

                                          1. I always make this cheesecake
                                            http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/1990s/...
                                            It is absolutely elemental and delicious, and I have been making it to raves for years. It is among the most requested recipes of things I make. I use Magic Cake strips around the outside of the pan, and it doesn't crack as it cools.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              thanks roxlet.

                                              btw, here is the notice on the gourmet website:
                                              SUBSCRIBERS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING BON APPETIT MAGAZINE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THEIR SUBSCRIPTION. THE GOURMET.COM WEBSITE WILL REMAIN AVAILABLE DURING A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD, AND ACCESS TO GOURMET RECIPES WILL ALSO REMAIN AVAILABLE VIA SISTER SITE EPICURIOUS.COM AND THE EPI IPHONE APPLICATION.

                                            2. I went through a cheesecake phase at one point too, and this baklava cheesecake is one of my favorites of all time: http://thecrumbybaker.blogspot.com/20...

                                              The other has now become a Thanksgiving tradition: http://www.food.com/recipe/pumpkin-ch...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: 504eva

                                                Yum, that looks great! And I have some phyllo in the fridge ...

                                              2. How about Blueberry, LIme & Rose Petal Cheesecake? Divine and one of my favorites from LunaCafe: http://thelunacafe.com/blueberry-lime... Best...Susan

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LunaCafe

                                                  This looks and sounds wonderful. Adding it to my must-make list.

                                                2. And now for the photo...

                                                   
                                                    1. Abby's Infamous Cheesecake with a Bacon Crust and Bacon Turtle Topping
                                                      http://baconconcentrate.blogspot.com/...

                                                      Alton Brown Savory Cheesecake
                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                      Jacques Pepin’s Mini Savory Cheesecakes
                                                      http://www.eattoblog.com/jacques-pepi...

                                                      Shrimp and Alligator Cheesecake
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/476384

                                                      Deep Fried Cheesecake
                                                      http://www.ireallylikefood.com/751224...

                                                      Rainbow Cheesecake
                                                      http://taste-for-adventure.tablespoon...

                                                      Polka Dot Cheesecake
                                                      http://bestfriendsforfrosting.com/201...

                                                      Green Chile Cheesecake with Papaya Salsa Wilson
                                                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                      Red Velvet Cheesecake
                                                      http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2031...