Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

16 Sep

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. I’m no expert cake decorator, but I have a lot of fun doing my kids’ birthday cakes. I don’t do plain boxed cake mixes because birthdays are a special occasion! And when else do you have the excuse to make something fancy? But I don’t ever get too fancy – fondant scares me. I get creative and use cupcakes, rice crispies, twinkies, and my favorite – starbursts. 🙂

This year, my daughter wanted a cheesecake. I’ve never made a cheesecake before, and my favorite part of birthday cakes is coming up with a fun way to decorate – how do you decorate a cheesecake? “With a mouse,” she said. A mouse? Of course a mouse…it’s a ‘cheese’cake. 🙂 Love it.

So, I learned a few things with my first cheesecake: First, do not start making it at 10:30 pm. You won’t get to bed until 2 am. Second, after baking you have to prop open the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside – do a toothpick test to make sure it is cooked through before doing that. You may end up with an un-cooked center and not find out until your cheesecake is cooled and it’s too late to do anything about it. Third, make your cheesecake at least a day in advance. The flavor is better if you let it sit for a full 24 hours.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:

Crust Directions:

1. Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan, trying to line the sides as much as possible about 1 1/2″ up the sides of the pan, set aside.

Cheesecake Directions:

1. All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer set on low (keep the setting at low during the entire mixing process).

3. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

4. Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.

5. Add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

6. Add the sour cream and beat well.

7. Pour cream cheese mixture into the springform pan.

8. Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degree F preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.

9. When time is up turn oven off, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.

10. Remove from oven and let cool then refrigerate for 24 hours.

Original recipe found here: http://www.momswhothink.com/cheesecake-recipes/cheesecake-factory-recipe.html

Here is my final product! I added yellow food coloring to make it look more ‘cheesy,’ and the mouse is make of starburst that I colored with food coloring and warmed to make it malleable. It turned out cute!

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**The crust recipe below is for those who prefer a crust without nuts**

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine

Directions:

1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in melted margarine.

2. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper.

3. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.

4. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

 

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