White chocolate-amaretto cheesecake

Yield: 10 Servings

Measure Ingredient
10 -(up to)
12 Double graham crackers
½ cup Almonds; chopped fine
⅓ cup Dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons *un*salted butter
2¼ pounds Softened cream cheese
5 Eggs; room temperature
1 cup Granulated sugar
4 tablespoons Amaretto
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract (real)
1 teaspoon Almond extract
6 ounces White chocolate; finely grated (good quality; I use callebaut)
2 ounces Toasted almond slices
1 dash Confectioner's sugar
Bittersweet or dark chocolate

CRUST

CAKE

GARNISH

From: Max.Bloomfield@... (Max Bloomfield) Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 00:51:10 -0800 (PDT) Need: 10 inch spring form, double foil wrap outside to proof against leaks Time: 1 hour prep, plus baking and chilling Start: Day before serving

Oven temp: 350 degrees F., middle rack 1. Crust- place graham crackers and almonds in food processer, and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into springform, then by hand mix in brown sugar and melted butter until it all sticks together. Mold mixture to bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Press firmly into the seam around the bottom so there's no hidden spaces. Leave no holes. Bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on rack. Place a water bath into oven on middle rack now. When cool, grease the exposed top half of the sides of the pan lightly.

2. Cake- At medium speed in large mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel) beat cream cheese until totally smooth. Continue mixing, and add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each. Mix in rest of cake ingredients until well combined. Poor into cooled crust.

3. Baking- Bake for 60-70 minutes in already hot water bath. Cooking time can vary greatly due to many factors here, so you know it's ready when it passes the clean toothpick test (Test about 1½ inch from edge of cake).

The cake should be almost set. Allow to cook for an hour in an open oven with the heat off. Remove from oven very carefully, place on wire rack, cover pan with two layers of paper towels, and then a plate. Allow to cool 3-4 hours, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

4. Depanning and garnishing- When fully cool, gently release the pan's hasp. Warming the sides of the pan *slightly* with a hair dryer can help depanning. The idea is to soften the thin layer of butter between the pan and the cake without softening the cake or the crust. Toss almond slices with a bit of confectioner's sugar, and sprinkle over cake. Garnish center of cake with a few curls of dark or bittersweet chocolate. Cut cake with a hot knife.

Tips for cheesecakes in general: If you can, allow to cool in the open oven. The slower it cools, the better. Use an oven thermometer if you have it. I've cooked in a lot of ovens where the dial markings had little to no bearing on the actual oven temperature. The more even your oven heat, the less the chance of cracks.

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