Baked Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 30:
This eggnog prototype took on a couple of major new approaches. The eggnog concentration—which I felt was adversely affecting the taste—has been replaced with baking the cheesecake in multiple installments, based largely on Prototype 12 of my pumpkin cheesecake. And I added a graham cracker crust, per Lesa's request.
2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (about 1 cup) whipped, lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 oz. graham crackers, ground up

Place the resulting mixture into a greased 13" x 9" glass ("Pyrex") pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, then remove from oven (cooling off is optional here).

16 oz. (about 2 cups) whipped, lowfat cottage cheese
8 oz. softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese")
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups light eggnog (such as Hood)
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 eggs

Expect close to 6 cups of the resulting batter, but do not add this to the pan all at once. Rather, this needs to be done in four installments.

For each of the first three installments, gently scoop about 1 1/2 cups of batter into the pan, fully covering the surface (here's a tip—scoop small amounts of batter into scattered places throughout the pan, letting this batter fill in nearby gaps, and if any of these remain, use a rubber spatula and gently spread the batter to cover these gaps up), and then bake this pan with its contents for 25 minutes, at 325 degrees. However, at the end of the third installment's 25 minutes, add on another 30 minutes of baking time, but only at 300 degrees (that's a 55 minute "baking installment"—the first 25 minutes at 325 degrees and the next 30 at 300). For all four installments, bake with the pan in a tub filled with at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water.

After the first three installments are done, there should be about 1 1/2 cups of batter left, with 105 minutes of baking time reached at this point (25 minutes for each of the first two installments, and 55 for the third one). Now comes the fourth installment—carefully add the last of this batter on top of the pan's earlier installments, fully coating the entire surface. Next, return the entire pan-and-tub assembly to the oven, with the temperature remaining at 300 degrees. Resume baking for another 90 minutes.

Afterward, shut the oven off, and leave its door slightly ajar, with the cheesecake still inside—and in the tub—for an hour. Next, remove the cheesecake from the oven and tub. Continue to cool it down at room temperature for another 120 minutes, then (with cheesecake still in pan) refrigerate.

Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 30 Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 30 (with slice)

Whoa! The batter's texture for this one was surprisingly very rubbery! However, the flavor seemed to be an improvement over the previous eggnog prototype. But I felt that this flavor could be even better. I suspected that the very high amount of cooking time was to blame for the texture and taste. I also felt that the texture was likely impacted by too much xanthan gum. Yes, the 12th pumpkin prototype, which was a major influence for this eggnog cheesecake, came out fine. But the pumpkin's batter layer was much higher (i.e., thicker) than the eggnog's. In fact, I was almost going to bake the eggnog's fourth installment at 105 minutes, just like the pumpkin's, but I ended up going with only 90 (an influence from the previous eggnog prototype).

I also felt that the crust could use some cinnamon (I left it out, likely at least in order to save time, although I used graham crackers that were supposedly "regular" ones, not cinnamon).

I brought this cheesecake in early December of 2022 to Lesa, Steve and others during a darts match at the Spear Post in Beverly. Despite the aforementioned shortcomings, this prototype was very well-received. However, Bobby, one of the players and probably my biggest cheesecake fan on Lesa and Steve's team, made mention of a high amount of sweetness in the crust—but that hardly surprised me. I determined the sugar usage based on my most recent plain cheesecake crusts (I probably should have looked to my s'mores prototypes, since I used graham crackers instead of All-Bran for crusts in those).

Back to my bushy homepage