Baked Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 25:
A few days ago, I made yet another eggnog cheesecake by using the recipe for Prototype 23 (that's two prototypes ago, in light of my continued desire for stability). I baked that one for only about 80 minutes (at least from what I could best recall). The ingredients in it included a generous 2 1/3 cups of eggnog and one tablespoon of xanthan gum. Unfortunately, this particular cheesecake—which I made around the beginning of December of 2018—ended up soiling my fingers upon my handling the slices. I felt that was too unstable.

So I considered some options. One was to decrease the eggnog to a simpler 2 cups. I felt that the eggnog flavor itself would still yield a reasonable presence, and I wanted to be able to somewhat more easily pick up the "cheese" flavor as well. Another was to make sure the cheesecake gets cooked for a good 90 minutes, even if the top comes out a little brown. Better that I get a somewhat crusty top than an excessively soft cheesecake! I also contemplated boosting the xanthan gum to 4 teaspoons, but I ended up holding off on that for now.

However, I made a change on when to add the xanthan gum. In the past, I added it after the eggnog (but before the eggs). This time, I decided to try mixing in the xanthan gum before pouring in the eggnog. Perhaps the blender that I was using would have an easier time incorporating this tricky stabilizer.
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese (1CT-2YG):
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.

24 oz. (about 3 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
2 cups light eggnog
3 eggs

Place into greased 13" x 9" glass ("Pyrex") pan, and bake in tub at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. Shut off oven afterwards, leaving door slightly ajar, for 60 minutes. Next, remove pan containing cheesecake from tub and oven, and let cool at room temperature for 120 minutes, then (with cheesecake still in pan) refrigerate.

Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 25

Looks like mixing in the xanthan gum before doing so with the eggnog made a difference for the better! This stabilizer seemed to get incorporated a lot more quickly, and I was able to reduce the blender's speed as well. Gotta remember this one for the future—including for certain other cheesecake flavors such as pumpkin (add the pumpkin butter after the stabilizer).

I unloaded this cheesecake at The Home Depot for my fellow associates to enjoy. It went over quite well there (I found only one small piece left after 4 hours). And it did not seem to be so messy this time (although it was still softer than I would have liked it—but that's how it was with my eggnog prototypes these days).

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