Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bullseye Cheesecake

Bullseye Cheesecake
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 132.

This is one of Maida Heatter's most famous recipes. The size of the pan is important - it must be a one-piece 8 x 3 pan.  

The only area where I strayed from Maida's instructions was for the crust. She says to pat the crumbs onto the cheesecake after it has baked. I have tried this before and it is messy and the crust is not as good. So, I used my basic recipe for a cheesecake crust and made it in the pan before adding the batter.

32 oz. cream cheese (Use Philadelphia brand - others do not all work the same - preferably at room temperature)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. powdered (not granular) instant coffee
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the crust:
About 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or crumbs made from Amaretti or any other crisp cookies (to be used after the cake has baked) (OR use this recipe instead)

Adjust a rack 1/3 from the bottom of the oven and preheat to 350. Butter an 8x3 inch one-piece cheesecake pan all the way to the rim. You will also need a larger pan to make a water bath. Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese until it is soft and smooth (it should be at room temperature).

Beat in the sour cream.

Add the almond and vanilla extract.

Add the salt.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as necessary to insure that the mixture is smooth.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and divide the mixture into 2 bowls - you will have about 3 cups each.
Add the regular sugar to one bowl...
Add the brown sugar to the other bowl.

Stir in the sugar with a rubber spatula until it has dissolved. Do the same for the other bowl as well.
To the dark mixture, add the instant coffee and the cocoa. Stir.
You will now pour the batter into the pan in 4 separate additions. Pour half of one mixture (it does not matter which you start with) into the buttered pan.
Now pour half of the other mixture in the center.
The second mixture will expand but will stop before it reaches the edge. Really cool, right?

Add the remaining portion of the first mixture you used, again right in the center.

Add the remaining portion of the last mixture. See the bullseye forming...

Carefully place the pan into the larger pan and pour in the hot water - about 1 1/2 inches deep. If you are using an aluminum pan, add 1 tsp. cream of tartar to prevent the pan from discoloring. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from the pan by inverting it on a flat board or pan. Maida's instructions for the crust require you to pat the crumbs onto the cheesecake with it upside down. To me, this is messy and too much trouble. I just pre-baked the crust and it was fine (see my introductory notes).


Anonymous said...

How much white sugar?

Phillip Oliver said...

Sorry about that! 2/3 cup white sugar as well as the 2/3 cup brown sugar.

Anonymous said...

So did you have the crust on the counter and then just invert the cake onto the crust? Or did you pour the mixture on top of the crust, resulting in a double baked crust?

Phillip Oliver said...

I poured the mixture on top of the crust. I suppose you could skip the initial baking of the crust since it is being baked again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!