Friday, September 19, 2014

Funfetti Cheesecake



While organizing my pantry today, I came across a half-used tab of rainbow sprinkles (Funfetti), that I'd completely forgotten about. There's just something about rainbow sprinkles that always puts a smile on my face. I think it's all the beautiful colors. I admit It-I'm a sucker for things with bright colors. It somehow always manages to bring out the child in me. So, on a whim, I decided I'd use the sprinkles to make a cheesecake. I sure didn't see that on the menu of The Cheesecake Factory when I last visited :) . I decided to use my basic cheesecake recipe and throw the rainbow sprinkles in for a visual treat. My little experiment turned out beautifully! The cheesecake was dense and creamy, with specks of color running through it. Describing it brings a big ol' smile to my face :) I hope this recipe brings you as much enjoyment as it did my family and I. Here's the recipe...


Equipment
:

-1 large mixing bowl.

-1 small mixing bowl.

-spatula or wooden spoon.

-Electric hand-mixer or a stand mixer. If you have neither of these, you can use a whisk or fork to mix your ingredients, but just make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature or your filling will be lumpy :(. It'll take a bit of elbow grease, but it can be done.

-One 9-inch springform pan, greased and lined at the bottom with a parchment paper round.

-A roasting pan or an oven-safe baking dish 3/4 way filled with water.


Ingredients For The Filling:

-24 Oz. Cream cheese (3 blocks of cream cheese @ 8 Oz. Each) at room temperature.

-4 large eggs, at room temperature.

-1 cup granulated sugar.

-1 cup sour cream.

-5 tablesooons of rainbow sprinkles (Funfetti), tossed in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour.

-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

-1/4 teaspoon salt.










Ingredients For The Crust:

-2 cups cookie crumbs (you can use graham crackers, digestive biscuits, pretzels or even vanilla wafers. I used vanilla wafers for this recipe). I crushed my cookies into a crumb using a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, place the cookies in a sealable plastic ziplock bag, and press the air out. Then use a rolling pin to crush the cookies while they're in the sealed bag. Do this until the cookies turn into crumbs and there are no lumps (see the picture below).

-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled.

-1/4 teaspoon of salt (omit this if you're using salted butter).




Instructions for making the crust:

-Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheight (190 degrees Celcius).

-In the small mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with salt, sugar and butter and mix until it resembles wet sand. The crumbs are ready to be put in the pan when a handful of it holds it's shape when squeezed in the palm of your hand (see image below).


-Place the wet crumbs in the prepared springform pan and press down firmly to create an even layer. Be sure to push some of the crumbs up the sides of the pan. Use the palm of your hand or the flat bottom of a cup to help you create as even a layer of crumbs as possible.


-Place the springform pan in the center rack of the oven and allow the crust to bake for 10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned (see image below).


-Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to completely cool on a cooling rack. If you desire to rush this process, allow the crust to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and let it cool completely in the refrigerator.


**REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 350 DEGREES FAHRENHEIGHT (180 DEGREES CELCIUS)!!!! Place the roasting pan that's filled with water at the very bottom rack of the oven to create steam in the oven. This will help prevent cracking on the top of your cheesecake*****


-Once cooled, set the crust aside and prepare the filling.


Instructions For preparing The Filling:

-In the large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer (on medium speed) or a whisk, cream the room-temperature cream cheese until light and fluffy.

-Add in the sour cream and beat well to combine.

-Add the sugar, flour and salt. mix well to combine. Stop occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl and ensure that all the ingredients are well combined into the filling.

-Combine the eggs and vanilla, beat well. Slowly add it into the mixture. The mixture will appear curdled at first. Do not panic. Keep mixing until the filling looks smooth and creamy.

-Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, slowly fold the prepared rainbow sprinkles (Funfetti) into the filling. Keep folding and rotating the bowl as you go to ensure that the sprinkles are well incorporated into the filling. 



Assembling your Cheesecake:

 -Pour the filling into the cooled crust and use a spatula or wooden spoon to even out the surface of the filling.


-Tap the springform pan 3 times on your counter to release any bubbles that may be trapped in the filling.

-Place the filled springform pan on the center rack of the oven and a bake for 1 hr and 10 minutes without opening the oven door the whole time. 

-Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in there to cool down for another hour (with the door closed. Resist the temptation to take a peek in the oven!).

-After an hour of cooling in the oven, place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and allow it to cool for another 45 minutes to a hour. 

-Loosely cover the cheesecake with Aluminium foil and Refrigerate from 4hours-overnight (I prefer to refrigerate my cheesecakes overnight).

-Using a butter knife, gently pry the sides of the cheesecake from the sides of the pan. Remove the sides of the springform pan by opening the latch and pushing the bottom of the pan through the sides of the pan. Use a spatula to seperate the cheesecake from the bottom of the springform pan. Transfer the cheesecake onto a serving platter.


TIP: For perfect cut cheesecake slices, dip your knife in a glass of hot water each time before you make a cut. Wipe the knife after each cut with a damp, clean cloth or paper towel.




Storage: Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator (covered).