Baked Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 17:
After working with Prototype 10 of the plain-flavored cheesecakes, I brought some of the ideas from there into the latest eggnog prototype. A special formulation between the cottage and yogurt cheeses would be utilized (I thought that the last eggnog prototype was somewhat too tart—sorry, Steve, I meant for this to be an eggnog cheesecake, not a lemon one). Another notable change to the eggnog prototypes would be the use of arrowroot (combined with a major reduction in flour).
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time 16 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from one 32-ounce container of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 16 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 8 ounces (1 cup) of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

1 oz. melted, white chocolate
1/2 cup (4 oz.) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1.1 oz. Bran Buds, ground up

Pour this crust mixture into pan (9 to 9 1/2 inches) and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

2 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (20 oz.) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 cups light eggnog
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs

Bake, with tub, for about 70 minutes at 300 degrees, then cool off for about 70 minutes, then remove from pan and refrigerate.

Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 17

I probably could have gotten by with only 60 minutes of baking time, but I wanted an extra "safety" margin of firmness with this prototype.

Oakhurst eggnog was used for this one. I was rather pleased about this Maine dairy making a recent change for the better in its products—no more high-fructose corn syrup! No later than the start of eggnog season 2012, sugar was being used instead.

Oakhurst eggnog labels, 2011 and 2012 versions
Oakhurst eggnog labels. Label on left is 2011 version, with high-fructose corn syrup. Label on right is 2012 version, with sugar.

Yes, some artificial flavoring was still in use. But simply changing the sweetener made me feel happy (in fact, this company stated that it was no longer using the inferior, possibly artificial, corn-based sweetner for any of its products). Way to go Oakhurst! That's another milestone. Now work on going all-natural with your flavorings. Your stance against hormones (e.g., rBST) has gotten you this far, so keep on chugging. (And Amtrak's Downeaster train recently extended its service beyond Portland, to Brunswick—another nice happening from the bushy Pine Tree State.) Goodbye (and good riddance), HFCS! Hello, sugar (and Brunswick—and L.L. Bean's own Freeport too—happy rails)!

This cheesecake had a terrific eggnog taste. The tartness level also seemed to be just about right. However, I did pick up a very faint "ho-hum" tinge, at least when the cheesecake was at about room temperature. Maybe more of the flour needed to be removed (and perhaps a slight arrowroot boost would be needed to compensate for this flour's further reduction).

Still, this cheesecake fared satisfactorily at Living Hope Church. I only brought about half of it there, because I wanted save some to bring to darts at the Beverly ICC as well. This prototype was well received there by Lesa (eggnog being her favorite cheesecake flavor). Her friend Steve responded repeatedly with comments like "Way awesome!!" (he also sensed a moisture to his liking in this cheesecake). So he was thrilled with this treat (no lemon-related concerns—glad you're happy, Steve).

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