I looked and looked to see if someone had done a creamsicle cheesecake. Couldn't find anything, so there in lies my homework assignment. After a few attempts I think I nailed it. Creamsicle and cheesecake just screams to be together doesn't it? And I wanted to add a layer of 'almost saltiness' to it (don't I always), so I used those Lorna Doone shortbread cookies as the crust. Do I even have to tell you how good this was? It was light and creamy with a hint of orange just like a true creamsicle. Please forgive me on this, for I did not write down the recipe. I am certain though I got it all down word for word though. Just taste-test it before you bake it to make sure it tastes, well, like a creamsicle. The only areas I might have been forgetful was the amount of chopped orange slices and heavy cream. So you might need to add or subtract these--that's why I say taste test as you go along. I promise you I will get better with writing down the recipes straight away. :-)
Can we talk about Top Chef Desserts for a bit? I mean since I have you here? I want to like the show I really do because I just love the concept, but the drama is such a huge turn off. I know a lot of chefs, and none of them have tempers, flare-ups, crying fits, etc... like those on Top Chef Desserts. Chefs and pastry chefs alike pride themselves on being cool, calm and INSPIRING in the kitchen (and out of the kitchen as well).
It was also shocking to see on the wedding cake episode how many of the pastry chefs didn't make a decent wedding cake. Sure the flavors were there in some of the cakes, but the overall stacking and presentation was lacking. I was asking my friends if these were indeed classically trained pastry chefs. Love the show, just wish there wasn't so much crying. Just like there's no crying in baseball, there's no crying in baking. What do you think of Top Chef Desserts? Is it what you thought it would be? I honestly thought it would be like Top Chef with, well, desserts--where everyone behaves and puts forth their very best creations.
creamsicle cheesecake w/ shortbread crust
1- 10 oz box of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, crushed fine (I used all 2 sleeves)
1 stick salted butter, melted
Tiny pinch of sea salt
4 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temp
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup heavy cream (might need more)
3 large eggs and 2 large egg yolks
½ cup (or a little more) of orange candy slices, chopped very fine (the jelly-like ones coated in sugar; a sort of half moon shape)
1 ts of orange zest
A splash of vanilla extract
cook notes: as I said above I might be off on the amount of chopped orange slices and heavy cream used. So please taste test as you go along and before it goes in the pan for baking. This makes a lot of crust for the 10-inch pan, but I like to have it thick, so if you don’t like it thick you could probably halve it. But with the remaining leftover crust I just put it in a bag and freeze or make a mini cheesecake. There will also be leftover cheesecake batter—haven’t figured out how to scale it down yet. But with the leftover crust and batter you can easily make 2 mini cheesecakes if you have the mini springform pans. Also, I do not have a mixer, I know, everyone always ask how I do it, but I do, been that way for decades. So I just use a food processer, works perfectly. But use what you feel comfortable with.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
In a measuring cup, crack open the eggs and egg yolks, set aside until ready to use.
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non stick spray. In a food processor grind up the cookies into a fine crumb. In a bowl, combine the cookies, a pinch of salt, and the melted butter. Mix, then press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the springform pan. (I use a flat bottomed glass to press it in evenly). Recipe & photos by Dawn Finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com
Note: there will be some crumbs leftover; I normally use more crumbs than the average cheesecake because I love a thick crumb.
Bake for 12 minutes, set aside and let cool. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.
I used my food processor to make the cheesecake batter—I suppose you could use a mixer, but I don’t have one (I know, weird). With the food processor, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and lump free. Add in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. .
Add in the eggs one at a time until all is mixed well; add in the heavy cream. Then add in the vanilla extract, and orange zest; then add in the chopped orange candy slices. Process until all is well mixed.
Most people like to do a water bath for their cheesecake. I never do, I find all too annoying. But if you want to do this please feel free; it’s best to bake your cheesecake how ever you feel most comfortable.
I baked this cheesecake at 325°F for one hour then at 300°F for an additional 40 to 60 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Top with freshly whipped cream and I used all natural sprinkles form Whole Foods. These orange ones taste like orange.