The Baby Lemon Cheesecakes are everything you'd expect a Rose cheesecake to be: creamy, soft, lemony, and absolutely delicious. Rose's cheesecakes have unanimously won over cheesecake-haters, which really is all that needs to be said.
November 9, 2011
Name of Cake: A Cheesecake Everyone Will Love
Constituents: a cheesecake, atop a sponge cake layer and topped with lemon curd
I am the opposite kind of baker from Jenn. While she makes cute, delicious, mini versions of RHC, I like to mash all the individual portions together and make one large cake. The Coffee Chiffonlets became a Coffee Chiffon cake, the Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes became one 8-inch cake, and the Barcelona Brownie Bars became an 8x8 pan. So for my last project in the Babycakes Chapter of RHC, I decided to make one 6x2-inch cheesecake instead of 12 mini cakes. Much better.
I added up the total amount of batter and it comes out to 26.4 ounces, which was just perfect for a 6x2 inch cake. I forgot to take the sponge cake layer into account so I had about 1/4 cup of batter that wouldn't fit. I baked that separately and ate it as a midnight snack.
The first step in this cheesecake is to make the sponge cake layer. The recipe is attached to the Caramel Apple Charlotte, and to me it is a very confusing recipe. I had to re-write it, Cliffs Notes style, to make sense of it:
(I did something similar when baking the Chocolate Apricot Roll.)
After cutting out a round to fit in the bottom of your pan (or cupcake molds, if you are making the individual cakes), it is time to make the cheesecake batter. Mixing up a cheesecake is so dead simple I keep thinking I've missed a step; in fact, Rose spells it out in only four sentences. There is no other cake in this book that only takes four sentences to tell you how to mix it up. The cream cheese and sugar are creamed in the mixer, then the eggs are added, then the lemon juice and salt. Lastly the sour cream, or in my case full-fat yogurt, is beat in. Like all of Rose's cheesecakes, there's more sour cream/yogurt than cream cheese which is probably why it comes out so creamy and light. One of these days I'd like to use full-fat greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute. (Or have I already?)
The cheesecake gets baked in a water bath until the insides register 160°F. I have made cheesecake soup, so I really like having the internal temperature to go off of now. Unfortunately I can't recall how long it took to bake the cheesecake as I was baking by temperature. It took more than 30 minutes but less than 45.
The cheesecake will still jiggle in the middle but all is well. The cake gets wrapped up and refrigerated for at least an hour before the curd is applied, and gets another 2 hours afterwards. Since I made a larger cake I chose to refrigerate it overnight before serving, just in case. I also unmolded the cheesecake before adding the lemon curd.
For the lemon curd, I already had some homemade curd leftover from January of 2011, plus I also had an open jar of store bought curd from a different previous project (the Lemon Meringue Cake). I was able to use up all the homemade and most of the store bought for the topping. The curd needed to be hot to pour over the cheesecakes, so I cooked it over low heat, stirring constantly until hot and pourable. Once the curd is on the cake it goes back in the refrigerator for at least two hours to firm up.
Like I said, this cheesecake is everything you'd expect from Rose: creamy, light, rich, and not too sweet. The lemon curd pairs perfectly with the cake. The sponge cake is lost amongst the cheesecake, but it does make a nice presentation. My cheesecake was quite wet--from using yogurt instead of sour cream maybe?--and the sponge cake layer did a nice job soaking up the liquid. Honestly, I'd prefer the classic cookie crust, be it graham or gingersnap.
I turned the extra sponge cake (I needed less than a quarter for the cheesecake) into a bonus roulade using leftover ingredients from other cakes. I defrosted the 1/4 cup of caramel ganache leftover from the Big German Chocolate Cake, I used up the last of the raspberry puree from the Moist Chocolate Raspberry Ganache, and the last of the raspberry whipped cream from the Almond Shamah Chiffon. I love raspberries and chocolate so this is a nice little extra cake to have around.
Here's Marie's Baby Lemon Cheesecakes from the original bake-through, of which she made proper individual portions, and right before her daughter's wedding! Lady, where did you find the time?
The Last, Cake, Next Cake round-up for these cakes includes lots of variations; worth checking out!