The holiday season is one of our busiest times for cooking, baking and decorating. I like to start baking in late November and early in December to get our festive favorites made first. Then each year there is always a new recipe or two that looks appealing and sounds simple enough to make. Several family members make various cheesecakes flavors for the both Christmas and New Years, and they’re always tasty. I’ve made cheesecake, but never for the holidays. Maybe this is the year to attempt it and I have just the right book, The Cheesecake Bible.
300 Flavors of Cheesecake
The Cheesecake Bible provides us with 300 Sweet and Savory Recipes for Cakes and More. Not all of my cheesecakes have turned out, so having this book as an in-depth guide will very helpful. With 300 different flavors of cheesecake, there is something for every taste bud. As well as delivering iconic cheesecake recipes, you’ll be introduced to a profusion of tantalizing new flavors.
The onset of the book shares tips, tools and techniques on creating the perfect cheesecake. There is also an FAQ section that will answer obvious questions. There is also a list of ingredients you will need to create the included recipes from different cheeses, chocolates, spices, sugars and so forth.
The book is divided into different categories of cheesecake — Crumbs and Cookies, Breakfast and Miscellaneous Items, A World of Cheesecakes, Chocolate Cheesecakes, Fresh Fruit Cheesecakes, Citrus Cheesecakes, Nut Cheesecakes, Vegan and Gluten-Free Cheesecakes, No-Bake Cheesecakes, Small Cheesecakes, Cheesecake Bars, Cheese Pies, Savory Cheesecakes, Holiday and Celebration Cheesecakes, ending with Topping and Sauces.
The crisp images featured in this recipe book are mouth-watering; it’s tempting to make each recipe. The Caramel Pecan, Berry Berry Berry and the Cranberry Orange Cheesecake image caught my eye; their presentation was beautiful.
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
- 1 1/4 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs 300 mL
- 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and ground 60 mL
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter 60 mL
- 1 cup soft caramels 250 mL
- 2 tbsp evaporated milk or whipping (35%) cream 30 mL
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks 175 g
- 1 lb cream cheese, softened 500 g
- 1 cup sour cream 250 mL
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 125 mL
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped 250 mL
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 9-inch (23 m) cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides.
- Crust: In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs, ground pecans and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
- Filling: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt caramels in evaporated milk, stirring frequently, until smooth. Reserve about 3 tbsp (45 mL); cover and refrigerate.
- Pour remaining caramel mixture over frozen crust, spreading evenly and leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) border uncovered. Sprinkle chocolate chunks over caramel. Set aside.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Fold in chopped pecans by hand.
- Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes.
- Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.
- Decorations: Reheat reserved caramel mixture in the microwave or small saucepan over low heat, until melted. Drizzle over cake.
Each section has around a dozen or more flavorful recipes to try out. I’m amazed at the flavor combinations created by the author. I’ve never heard of savory cheesecakes or breakfast inspired cheesecakes, but they are in this recipe book for us to experience. As a vegan, I was happy to see they included 3 animal-free recipes.
Being it’s the holiday season, I perused a few sections that I thought would have festive recipes, but honestly, all of the cheesecakes would fit into any celebration. It just depends on the flavors you want to serve and the time you have to whip them up. The no-bake section has ten different recipes that would work for the holidays including their Holiday Rum Eggnog and Irish Cream Cheesecakes.
Perfect for parties and get-togethers are the Small Cheesecakes recipes. With eighteen different recipes, you can make luscious portion sized desserts for your guests. The Holiday and Celebration Cheesecakes section has all the recipes ideal for Christmas and New Year parties from the Peppermint Chocolate to the Eggnog Cashew to the Eggnog Nutmeg Rum to the Christmas Cheesecakes.
There is nothing more intoxicating than a sweet sauce drizzled atop your cheesecake. The Toppings and Sauces chapter offers a massive variety of recipes that you can partner with any of the cheesecake recipes in this books.
This second edition Cheesecake Bible will expand your culinary repertoire and equip you to make delicious homemade goodness for all occasions. This time of year, it would make an ideal gift as well.
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.