Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sam Choy’s Wahiawa Pineapple Cheesecake

   I came across this recipe and thought, "Great!! And it's Fancy, served on a bed of creme anglise and a drizzle of caramel sauce!! Sweeeeeet!!" I love making cheesecakes and experiment with new flavors and combinations. When I came across this one I knew it was a winner for two reasons...One, Sam Choy! and Two, I love pineapple flavored cream cheese. So here's the recipe...

Sam Choy’s Wahiawa Pineapple Cheesecake
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serves 8

Macadamia Nut Crust:

1 cup macadamia nuts
cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


3 1/2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
pinch of orange zest
pinch of lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
4 large eggs
1 pineapple, diced small

Soften the cream cheese, sugar and zest together in a power mixer or food processor. Add the cream, sour cream, and eggs one ingredient at a time, mixing well, and scraping the bowl down before adding the next ingredient.

Assembly and Baking:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cake pan and lay a circle of parchment or waxed paper on the bottom. Pack the crust in the bottom of the pan and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until very lightly brown. In a towel, squeeze some of the juice out of the pineapple. Pour half of the batter filling on top of the pre-baked crust. Stir the pineapple into the rest of the batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the cake pan, and smooth the top. Now it's time to make the caramel swirl in the cake. Using a squeeze bottle, take 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce and swirl on top of the cake batter. To achieve more of a swirl, take the tip of the knife and gently swirl the caramel. Bake in a water bath for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Test with a skewer or paing knife to see when the cake is done. Let cool, and then chill for at least 3 hours.

Serve each piece on a bed of creme anglise and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups cream

Make caramel from sugar, water and lemon juice, and remove from heat. Scald the cream. Slowly add cream to the caramel. Bring back to boil just enough to melt all the sugar.

Créme Anglaise:
Makes 2 cups

4 eggs yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 cups milk, heated
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature (optional)

In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks over low heat until they are pale in color. Whisk in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, then whisk until the mixture reaches the consistency of cake batter.

Whisk in the milk and vanilla bean, if using, then stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the custard coats the spoon and a line drawn down the back of the spoon remains visible. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve.

If the custard is to be chilled, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, or dot the top with bits of butter. Chill the custard for up to 2 days.

Note: If the custard begins to overheat and the egg yolks are forming lumps, remove it immediately from the heat and whisk briskly to cool the mixture. Push the custard through a fine-meshed sieve with the back of a spoon to remove the lumps. If it has not sufficiently thickened, return it to heat to complete cooking.


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