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Daring Bakers: Carrot Cake Cheesecake … Inspired by Junior’s of New York

Carrot Cake Cheesecake ... inspired by Junior's Cheesecake.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake ... inspired by Junior's Cheesecake.

Daring Bakers Cheesecake Challenge

Daring Bakers Cheesecake Challenge

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Jenny’s Instructions: 
I know some of you will have made cheesecake before, but I’m hoping it is new for some of you.  The real challenge this month is to take this basic recipe and play with it.  Make it unique.  Make a showstopper of a dessert.   Add flavor, sauces, decorations – dress it up and show it off. To be clear, I’m allowing for almost any flavor modification within the basic recipe (alcohol, lemon juice, vanilla), changes for dietary needs, and you can also experiment with the crust (graham crackers not essential).  And then what you do on top – you have free reign here.

My interpretation:  Use any kind of base … use “Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake” recipe … Put anything on top.

My Creation:   Carrot Cake Cheesecake … inspired by Junior’s of New York.

Carrot cake base … cream cheese icing …  Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake … cream cheese icing … Carrot cake on top … cream cheese icing all around.
I believe I am Daring Bakers Challenge legal!
Layer upon layer of cheesecake heaven!

Layer upon layer of cheesecake heaven!

Bake your cheesecake.
  Our group used “Abbeys Infamous Cheesecake” recipe.

 Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs   (I like eggs to be at room temperature.)
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream  (I let the cream set out a few minutes to warm up a bit.)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)  (I used a good vanilla extract.)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake  (I chose not to use liqueur.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.  (At this time, I generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.)

2. 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 alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

3. Pour batter into prepared  pan (I do not use a crust in the pan, so you will be pouring the batter directly into the pan.) and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.  (I use a triple layer of heavy duty foil around my springform pan.)

5. 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. 

(To make my variation it will be necessary to let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack.  This took approximately 2 hours.  When the cake is completely cooled wrap plastic wrap around the pan and all and place in the freezer until you are ready to assemble the cake.  It is best to let this freeze overnight.)
Bake 2 layers of carrot cake.   You can use your favorite carrot cake recipe that makes two, 9 inch layers.  (My recipe makes a 3rd layer … some of which I crumbled for a decorative topping.)  I suggest you generously butter the sides and bottoms of the pans, insert a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan and butter it as well.  Let the cakes cool in the pans, on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto the racks and slowly peel off the parchment paper.   Cool completely (about 2 hours) then wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Refrigeration is crucial to the assembly process.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Assembly. 
When you are ready to assemble the cake, take the cheesecake from the freezer and carrot cakes from the fridge and allow them to stand at room temperature while you make the frosting.   I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook
Cream Cheese Frosting
Three 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar  (1  and 1/2 pounds)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed.  Add the confectioners’ sugar, than the vanilla, beating until smooth.  With the mixer running, gradually add ther cream and beat until the frosting looks whipped and creamy.  Add a little more cream if necessary until it’s easy to spread.   (I have never had to add any additional cream.  The frosting is always a perfect spreading consistency.)

Place one of the carrot cake layers (top down) on a cake plate.  Spread with frosting.  
Place the cheesecake (top  down), on top of the frosted carrot cake layer and spread with frosting.   (A  Junior’s tip for removing the frozen cheesecake from the pan helped me tremendously!  They recommend warming the bottom of the pan by setting it on a hot, wet towel long enough to melt the butter used to grease the pan.  Remove the pan ring.  Gently insert a long narrow spatula between the bottom of the cake and the pan bottom, moving it slowly in a circle.  Then lift up the edge of the cake with the spatula, oh-so-gently, just enough to release the vacuum between the bottom of the cake and the pan.)
Top with the remaining cake layer (bottom side down).  Ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.   Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve  (it takes this cake about 2 hours in the refrigerator to thaw enough to easily slice.)  Use a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one, to cut it.  If there’s any cake leftover, cover it and refrigerate.
Grab a fork and enjoy!

Grab a fork and enjoy!


12 Responses

  1. Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! Awesome job on this challenge =D.

  2. Wow!! That is really being creative! I think it is just super. Did you save me a slice??!!!

  3. WOW POW what a great idea I just love the photo and the flavours I bet go so well together, since most carrot cake have cream cheese topping. Very Very clever use of classic flavours. Bravo Bravo

  4. Wow, how can anyone eat an entire piece of this decadent masterpiece? Looks great. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker’s Challenge!

    Jenny of JennyBakes

  5. wow! great Idea and presentation. I bet this was great!

  6. I love cheesecake (and this months DB recipe was just perfect, IMO) and I love carrot cake. A combination of the two must be super delicious! I also love the plates and glasses in your photos – they look so pretty!

  7. What a fabulous idea – a cheesecake and a cake in one – awesome!

  8. Oh boy that looks to die for! I have to try your recipe! Your cake turned out beautifully! Great job!

  9. I just found Junior’s cheesecake cookbook at Ollie’s for $5.99!! I can’t wait to try out a recipe. Your cheesecake looks FABULOUS! 😀

  10. I’m going to make this for Father’s Day, it looks wonderful! Thanks for having all the recipes on your site for this, I always dislike having to click links for a recipe, sometimes they aren’t there.

  11. “Layer upon layer of cheesecake heaven!” I couldn’t have said it any better.

    Yhis looks totally up my alley. I love cheesecake and carrot cake- lovely!

  12. OMG! I think I just gained 10 pounds looking at the pictures! Well done, you. Amazing!

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