Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daring Bakers' April Magic

It’s the end of April and the Daring Bakers are out in force. Time for another visit to the Land of St. Honore’. The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.


Not so long ago in the Land of St. Honore’, the fairy godmother received an urgent summons from the castle.

Cinderella, now called Ella to distance her from her sordid past, was on the board of a charity. As is often the case these days just being a do-gooder wasn’t enough. She had been “asked” to provide a “Spectacular” dessert for an upcoming event and it was supposed to be something that she had baked herself. Now she had been a whiz at cleaning everything from the chamber pots to the fireplaces at her stepmother’s place, but no one had trusted her with baking since the fiasco of the well burnt cookies.

Her fairy godmother arrived and heard her tale of woe. “What did you have in mind”, she asked?

“Well, the only things in the castle kitchen include some plain cream cheese, plain cream, plain sugar, plain eggs, plain butter and the usual pantry items like crackers. I suppose there are some fresh strawberries, too. I can’t imagine that anything grand enough to be a centerpiece could come of all that.”

Ah, she certainly was a forgetful princess, wasn’t she? Didn’t she remember the transformations necessary to get her to the ball, all those years ago?

Wasting no time, “Bibity-bobbity-boo!”, cried the fairy godmother with a swirl of her magic wand. This time there were no gourds involved, but instead Ella saw a glorious cheesecake, crowned with strawberries and decorated with whipped cream stars appear on the counter in the kitchen.



“I’m sorry I doubted you”, she said breathlessly. “Now how do you suppose I’m going to carry that to the event in my Pumpkin SUV?”

But her fairy godmother had flown off to her yoga class, leaving Ella to call for her footmen. Surely they would figure it out. A cheesecake like this isn’t created every day.



If you’d like to work a little magic of your own, the recipe for the cheesecake can be found here.

The additions I used to make Ella’s fairy godmother’s version include adding 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the batter, not using any liquor, and adding ½ teaspoon cinnamon to the crust mixture. The top is decorated with sliced strawberries.




Small stars of whipped cream are piped on the sides


and a swirl is piped on the top near the center. I didn’t wave a wand or cry any magic words, but this cheesecake is an easy one and really doesn’t require magic, just careful attention to the recipe and a few hours of your time.

For the water bath part, I used a double layer of heavy duty foil to wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan and that was successful. No water infiltrated the foil, so the crust was dry and delicious.



This is a truly spectacular cheesecake, not just because it looks awesome, but because it isn’t too sweet, it has a rich, soft and creamy texture and, if left almost plain, has true cheesecake flavor. Try it and see!


Since the challenge this month encourages imagination, do visit other Daring Bakers’ blogs to see what magic has been created in hundreds of ways! Click here for the blogroll.

A huge ‘Thank you!’ to Jenny for choosing such a great challenge recipe!



24 comments :

Jude said...

Looks like we were thinking somewhere along the same lines for this challenge. Water baths makes me nervous so I'm glad to know yours came out perfectly.

Rachel said...

I'm glad I got to see this!

breadchick said...

All those strawberries make me want to dive right into yours! I'll bet the cinnamon addition was good.

Dharm said...

super story as usual and super cake too! Love how you decorated it!!

Andrea said...

I am breathlessly awaiting the arrival of strawberries in our area. Your cheesecake looks scrumptious with all those strawberries on top!

A_and_N said...

LOL @ the pumpkin SUV! I guess you were pretty happy with the cheesecake you've made..thats explains the fairytale :) Seriously it looks amazing!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally fabulous magic or not! Really love the strawberry star!!

marye said...

great story ...awesome cheesecake. The strawberries look luscious.

lisamichele said...

I loved the fairy tale story about your cheesecake - so sweet and heart warming - not to mention mouth watering, which perfectly describes your cheesecake, It looks beautiful - lovely job all around!

Katie said...

Your cheesecake looks gorgeous. I love how you've cut the strawberries they look so stylish.

vibi said...

WOW! You went all out on this! What nice deco you've done! ...what talent you have! You've succeeded in making a beautiful classic, even more beautiful! Bravo!

MeetaK said...

what a great looking cake. love he strawberries!

giz said...

I love the way you piped the bottom portion - you made an already wonderful cake even prettier.

Claire said...

What a kind fairy godmother! Looks wonderful. The strawberries are just fantastic!

Andreas said...

Time for another chapter of the Chronicles from the Land of St. Honoré. :)
That's always a nice angle for a blog post. Strawberry cheesecake looks gorgeous as well.

And you should try to sell the idea of a fairy godmother taking yoga classes to DreamWorks.

Engineer Baker said...

I really like the whipped cream piped around the outside. Don't know why, but it's just pretty. What a lovely take on this month's challenge!

Chantal said...

strawberries! yummy!

Jenny Tan said...

Love your fairy tale cheesecake story! :) I LOVE BERRIES too!! ;)

ice tea: sugar high said...

Yup.. water bath always worry me too. But for this recipe, i think that's one of the secret that made it work. Well done

Lauren said...

Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! Love the story =D.

Jenny said...

Can Ella leave me the godmother's cell phone, I need some help with a few things here, and since she can call up footmen, she doesn't seem to need her quite as much. ;-)
Plus her cheesecake is a showstopper.

lisamichele said...

Definitely one of the prettiest cheesecakes I've seen. Picture perfect and those strawberries look gorgeous! Nicely done!

Jenny said...

Elle, what a beautiful fairy tale, and an even more beautiful cheesecake... a centerpiece for the queen's table. :)

Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Bakers Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Sara said...

This looks amazing! I love the decorations. :) Yum!