One of the regulars at Krafty Draft brought a friend of his over to meet me one evening while we were all there. He warned him, “Meeting her will be an experience, because the way she talks doesn’t match the way she looks.” I’m still scratching my head over that warning, but either way, his friend was happy to meet me because he is a cheesecake lover. After we discussed several different flavors and he expressed his love for the Black Forest Cheesecake I made earlier that week, he asked if I had ever made a Bananas Foster Cheesecake. My face lit up, “I sure have!” That’s not a typical cheesecake flavor that many people would specifically ask for, especially since I created this recipe trying to think of more ways to incorporate different liquors in the recipes. He was happy to hear that I had made one, and ordered a whole cheesecake for his wife’s birthday. Let me tell you, I have discovered that the new birthday dessert these days has become cheesecake, and I understand why.
Bananas Foster Cheesecake
For the Crust
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mashed banana (very ripe)
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 whole eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
½ tablespoon rum extract
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark rum
For the Topping
Frozen whipped topping, thawed
¾ cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place inside a 12 inch cake pan. Place Nilla wafers crumbs in a small mixing bowl, toss together. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Rub butter all along the bottom of the springform pan, then press Nilla wafers mixture evenly along the bottom. Place pans in the oven to bake for 7 minutes, remove pans from oven and set aside.
In a standing mixer (or mixing bowl and using electric mixer), add 8 oz. cream cheese, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup light brown sugar. Beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment until mixture is smooth. Add another 8 oz. cream cheese, along with 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, and continue to beat until smooth. Add remaining cream cheese and granulated sugar, one at a time, until smooth. Slow mixer to stirring speed, add extracts and one egg at a time, scraping down the sides. Turn on to stirring speed and slowly add mashed bananas and rum, beat just until mixed in (do not overmix). Spoon batter into springform pan on top of graham cracker crust and spread into an even layer.
Pour warm water into the larger cake pan, creating a water bath (this prevents cracks). The water should come up at least 1 inch around the springform pan. Carefully place pans in oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove pans from oven, pull the springform pan out of the larger pan and place on a cooling rack for about 4 hours to cool completely. Remove aluminum foil from around pan.
Cover springform pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Remove plastic wrap from springform pan, release and remove sides of springform. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of cheesecake, turn upside down onto a flat surface. Carefully remove bottom of pan, turn back over onto a serving plate.
Cut into slices with a sharp, straight edged knife, wiping knife between each cut. Store cheesecake in refrigerator until ready to serve for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Stir together confectioners sugar and rum until it forms a glaze. Garnish cheesecake with whipped cream and drizzle with rum glaze.