Friday, December 16, 2011

Bailey's Cheesecake

It's the holiday season, and that means...Bailey's! In my coffee, in my dessert glass, and in my cheesecake. Yes, in my cheesecake. Usually, I'm a cheesecake purist--I like it plain, with a homemade graham cracker crust. Nothing fussy, no frills, just good old thick New York style cheesecake. But if Bailey's cheesecake is on the menu, I tend to stray from my purism and give it a try. I've had a few kinds before, and this time I decided to make my own. I adapted a recipe I found here with a sour cream topping, and I used my own, my favorite, graham cracker crust recipe. Here's what I ended up doing:

12 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoon butter, melted
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur (a Bailey's substitute would have been totally fine. Luckily, I wasn't buying my own ingredients in this case, so we avoided the bargain shopping)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 ounces white chocolate chips

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Lightly butter 9 inch springform pan. Finely grind graham crackers and sugar in processor. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 20 minutes. (I had a little too much, so I just used whatever fit, and then I actually made a slightly smaller second complaints there!)

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Whisk eggs, Baileys, and vanilla in bowl until just blended. Beat egg mixture into cream cheese mixture. Finely chop white chocolate in processor (I used a blender) using on/off turns. Add to cream cheese mixture.
Transfer filling to crust-lined pan. (Again, I had a little too much, so I just poured the excess into my extra little crust.) Bake until edges of filling are puffed and dry-looking and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

For topping:
Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in small bowl. Spread topping onto cooled cake. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 6 hours (may be prepared one day ahead). Sprinkle grated chocolate (I used little chocolate crumbles, and they turned out all snowy and gorgeous) over cake.

This cake was delicious. But I knew it would be...cheesecake and Bailey's? Where was there even any room for error?

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