Incorporating liquor into cheesecake recipes has become quite the hobby lately, and this recipe is no exception. Hmm, what kind of cheesecake can I make today? is a question that rolls through my head as I’m standing in front of the liquor cabinet, eyeing all of my choices. The easier choices are the cream based and sweet liquors, but since there is such a large menu of mixed drinks available for me to scour on the internet, it’s not that hard to come up with something good. One of my favorite things to do while tasting these cheesecakes is to make a martini with the same ingredients for the perfect pairing. Appertif and dessert at the same time.
White Russian Cheesecake
For the Crust:
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup cornstarch
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
2 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. vanilla flavored vodka
2 oz. coffee flavored liquor
For the Topping:
frozen whipped topping, thawed
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 graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar 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 graham cracker 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 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 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 liquors and heavy cream, 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. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.