Baked Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 32:
The rum flavoring and nutmeg would be brought back in late January of 2023 for this one, and the baking time would be reduced.
2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (about 1 cup) whipped, lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 oz. graham crackers, ground up (if these are cinnamon-flavored, omit the cinnamon shown above)

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
1 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups light eggnog (such as Hood)
1 teaspoon 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 10 minutes of baking time, but only at 300 degrees (that's a 35 minute "baking installment"—the first 25 minutes at 325 degrees and the next 10 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.
* (The temperature for the first installment ended up unintentionally at 345 degrees. To compensate for this error, the temperature for the second installment was set to 315 degrees. See comments below for more details.)

After the first three installments are done, there should be about 1 1/2 cups of batter left, with 85 minutes of baking time reached at this point (25 minutes for each of the first two installments, and 35 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 50 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 32

It was my original intent to bake the first two installments at 325 degrees. Because of the somewhat long time in the oven door being wide open in order to carefully insert the tub-and-pan assembly into the oven, I would turn the temperature up a little just before the insertion to help compensate for the heat loss. Immediately after this insertion, I would promptly turn the temperature back down to the intended setting. But I forgot to do this step for the first installment. So I cut the temperature to 315 degrees for the second installment as a reasonable compensation strategy. I resumed the temperature at 325 for the beginning of the third installment and continued the intended procedure for the rest of the baking process.

The eggnog flavor had a decently notable appearance in this cheesecake. In fact, this flavor may have been a little more than what I wanted, relative to the cheese flavor itself (I have given thought about cutting the rum extract in half for the next time). I also felt that there was still some of the unwanted "snap" on the top surface. Perhaps I needed to reduce the xanthan gum (cut it to about 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon?), not the baking time (keep it the same at this point?), for the next prototype.

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