Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crazy White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake.

Here is a little something you should know about me. I’m safe. I color in the lines, and I don’t like to walk tightropes. I like feeling in control, and HATE the feeling in my gut when I feel out of control, not knowing the outcome. It’s the best part of me, and the worst part of me. Ask my best friends. You want stability?? Then stick with me. You want a nagging crazy woman who swears you will die if you do something even slightly over the top?? I’m your girl. Well, sometimes. Give me a bottle or 2 of moscato wine and I get crazy. Give me a couple of cocktails and I’m swimming in the dark and dancing on tables. Give me a couple shots, and things turn PG-13 real quick. But that’s a whole other post.

I’m the same way with cooking. I follow every recipe as close as possible; to make sure that my outcome is the outcome the recipe creator came up with. I want to taste what they tasted. I want to smell what they smelt. And I want to say, "Wow, that really WAS good!!" But every once in awhile.... every now and then.... every other full moon... I get this crazy idea to scribble outside the lines. I dibble and dabble and taste and add and mix and then pop it in the oven, only to pace the kitchen for a half hour, biting my finger nails.... I seriously do this. I develop a dang twitch and curse myself for being so wild and crazy sometimes. I even have to remind myself to breathe. I press the "oven light" button at least 27 times to get a foggy sneak peek of what is unravelling in my oven. All the while, I’m developing an ulcer.

3 nights ago... I had one of those nights. And no, wine was not involved. I decided I was going to be crazy! And by crazy, I mean... cheesecake crazy. From scratch. It was time to face my fears. And it was time to be insane.

I started with the crust. 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (I used cinnamon ones... 'cause the more calories, the better!) melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mixed it all up, until it was lumpy and pressed it into a spring form pan. (After sending my hubby into the wild world of baking pans to buy one for me. Never actually thought I would need one of these suckers!)

Then I made the filling. 4 packages of cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, 5 eggs, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Normal, right? Ohhh no... the wild baking beast in me was roaring! So... I melted about 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips in the microwave... and added it to the mix. Ohhh Myyyy Goshhh.....

As if I wasn’t already feeling like I had fallen completely of my gosh darned rocker... I added these little gifts from God. Ya, Macadamia nuts.

What you’re looking at right now, Ladies and Gentlemen... is the creation I like to call... PERFECT. But don’t get excited just yet...
Because, I have a short story to tell.
 (By the way, the only thing short about me is my height of 5'3. Nothing I do or say is ever short... so just deal with me, will ya?)
Anyway, Never in my life have a used a spring form pan. So, I stuck this crazy creation of mine in my oven of 325 degrees. Not realizing that a spring form pan isnt WELDED together. And, 30 minutes later... my entire house was full of smoke. EVERYWHERE! Hubby ran to open the back door, while I turned the oven off and opened it... then I proceeded to swing the front door back and forth to let the house air a bit, while hubby waved a kitchen towel around the smoke detector and prayed it wouldnt go off and wake up the neighbors, since it was 11pm on a Thursday night. Yes, I was making cheesecake at 11pm. Why? I dunno. But I’m glad my hubby puts up with my insane and crazy behaviour!
Moral of this story? Burned drippings on the bottom of the stove, well... sucks. And stinks. And causes a lot of smoke... and causes your husband to yell a bunch of obscenities. But... It didn’t phase me... because I was feeling crazy... remember???
So.... I took the half baked cheesecake out of the smoky oven. And proceeded to mop up burned drippings out of the bottom of my HOT oven with paper towels. (Kids, don’t try this at home) My cheesecake was going to be baked, whether my smoky house or irritated husband liked it or NOT!

And THIS is what I got after I stuck it back into the oven. This time, I put the spring form pan on top of a baking pan... so that the drippings wouldn’t drip, and burn, and cause my husband to hang me from my eye lids.

You know something is good when you find yourself calling out to Jesus as you suck up the crumbs.

I made some white chocolate shavings to dress up the top, and cream cheese cake frosting to fancy up the sides a bit.

STOP drooling!

Oh. My. Yum.
I decided something needed to balance out the amazing richness of this lustful dessert, so I whipped up some homemade whipped cream. (1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla).... whisk it up on high in your mixer for a few minutes, and ta da!

You have yourself a ridiculous, huge, rich, creamy piece of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake, with the light, airy, subtle sweetness of homemade Whipped Cream.
Ok, you can stop breathing heavy. I’m done feeling crazy.
For now.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake filling:
4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Handful of Macadamia nuts to sprinkle in
1 1/2 cups, melted white chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
Stir in melted butter until moistened.
Pour the mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan
Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
Sprinkle with handful of Macadamia nuts

To make the cheesecake filling, cream the sugar, cream cheese and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
On medium, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
On low, add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla just until combined.
Go ahead and add the white chocolate.
Pour over nuts and crust
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325.
Make sure the edges look done, and the middle looks like it might be a bit.... undercooked. It continues to cook while it’s cooling. It should wobble a bit, but not too much. Just trust me; you will know when it’s done.
Remove cheesecake from pan once it has cooled.
Stick it on a fancy cake platter.
And do whatever your heart desires to make it all fanciful and pretty like.

I have faith that you will love this, and add it to your crazy day list of recipes.
Do it.
 I double dog dare ya.

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