Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

This week's Heavenly Cake is a sour cream cheesecake baked inside a ring of pretty ladyfingers. Rose gives the option of making the ladyfingers yourself or cheating and buying the Savioardi biscuits at the store. Since I just arrived back in Portland Sunday afternoon, I decide to cheat and buy the biscuits. Alas. I hang my head in shame.

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

December 27, 2010
Name of Cake: Cheater's Cheesecake
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: sour cream cheesecake with ladyfingers and a cranberry topping

I can't remember who mentioned that the store bought ladyfingers are also pretty delicious, but I have to agree. I enjoyed munching on the cut off ends last night as the cheesecake baked.

Since I cheated on the ladyfingers, all I had to do last night was bake the cheesecake. That was really simple. So simple, that I didn't even bother starting on the cake until midnight. (Okay, so that really wasn't on purpose.)

This cheesecake gets mixed up with the KA instead of in the food processor. The cream cheese and sugar are creamed together then the eggs, the lemon juice, vanilla, and lastly the large amount of sour cream. There's more sour cream than cream cheese in this cake!

I decided to experiment and since I haven't tasted the cake yet I can't tell you how it turned out. I had some light sour cream at home (purchased for the Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake--didn't realise it was not full-fat) but not enough. I decided to try using full-fat plain yogurt for the remaining amount, mainly because I wanted an excuse to buy a big tub of full-fat yogurt. And, because I was curious to see if it would work. It turned out to be 400g light sour cream and 326g of full-fat plain yogurt.

After taking the five minutes to mix this batter together, it is poured into the ladyfinger-lined pan and baked for 45 minutes. After baking, the cheesecake is left in the oven for an hour, then left on the counter until room temperature, then refrigerated for eight hours. By the time the cake was finished baking, it was about one am. I decided to leave the cheesecake in the cooling oven overnight.

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

This morning I got a good look at the baked cheesecake before I put it in the refrigerator. It looked very pretty, not a crack or a crevice on top, and just a tad jiggly in the center. The cake will relax in the refrigerator until this evening, when I'll bring it to Cookie's house to share with her family visiting from out of town.

Well, it is now Tuesday night and I still need to finish this post!

About an hour before going to Cookie's house, I made the cranberry topping. The defrosted cranberries are combined with sugar, water, and cornstarch in a pan, and boiled for about a minute to activate the cornstarch. Once the topping cools down it is poured over the cheesecake and it is ready to eat!

The store bought ladyfingers softened up nicely, while the tops remained a little crunchy in a good way. The cheesecake was still really soft in the middle--which seems to be a problem I keep encountering--but still really delicious. The yogurt didn't seem to negatively affect the cake at all. Cookie, who normally doesn't like cheesecake, liked this one. The lemon complements the tart cranberries very nicely. Cookie felt the ladyfingers didn't contribute much taste-wise, and would have preferred a graham cracker crust. That would have been more flavorful but the ladyfinger crown is so dramatic!

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

A good cheesecake; light, tangy, and creamy. Beautiful presentation, really easy to make. A winner!


  1. I'm glad you let it sit overnight. I was picturing you up in the kitchen until 3 AM!

    Your cake looks wonderful - so creamy!

  2. Starting a cake late at night sounds like something I would do. I'm glad it turned out well with the yogurt and light sour cream.

  3. I can't believe you started at midnight. Even w/o making ladyfingers, that's late!

    Your cheesecake came out beautiful. The store-bought ladyfingers are pretty.

    I agree that the ladyfingers don't contribute to taste at all, but I like the texture against the cheesecake.

  4. Lois, I thought about napping on the couch, but decided that was way too crazy for such a simple cheesecake.

    Andrea, I am too! I was a little surprised it did.

    Jenn, that was late, but I've done it before. I used to sit on a little stool and nap against the counter while cakes baked in the middle of the night!

  5. I was running late, too, but not that late. For the hour in the oven and the hour before it went in the fridge, I set my oven timer and went to bed. Saying all the while, what was I thinking?!!

  6. The cheesecake looks delicious, and I, too, love the crown of ladyfingers!


  7. Jennifer,
    This is a very elegant looking cake and I can only imagine how delicious it is.

  8. wow. Great photos- I can only imagine that it tastes as good as it looks!