Baked Eggnog Cheesecake—Prototype 33:
Cutbacks are made on this one for the rum extract, xanthan gum and final baking installment. Also, the crust's pre-bake time gets another 5 minutes.
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 30 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
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups light eggnog (such as Hood)
3/4 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.

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 40 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 33

The eggnog flavor (hopefully!) did not seem to be overwhelming this time. And the texture seemed to feel right as well, with no unpleasant "snap" detected on the top surface.

I baked this one for Lesa's birthday.

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