Cheesecake has been an obsession for me ever since I was a little girl. It was rich and smooth and full of flavor. It was so versatile you could even put it on a stick. I wanted to make something that incorporated my two favorite desserts, banana fosters and cheesecake. At least thats what I had hoped, when I started this two day baking adventure.
I wanted a cheesecake that wasn't too hard and had just the right amount and "gooeyness" yes, I said "gooey-ness." I had searched online and bought cookbooks in pursuit of the perfect cheesecake recipe. For years my go to recipe was always Kraft's Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cheesecake. I wanted more this time. So what do I do? Experiment.
This is what I got!
Boozy Banana Cheesecake
4 packages of cream cheese (8 oz package)
1 cup of granulated sugar
4 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 of fresh lemon
2 Tbsp of Bourbon (I used 12 year aged bourbon which adds notes of honey and oak to the cake)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
3 cups of crushed Pepperidge Farms Chessmen Cookies
1/2 cup of melted butter ( I used plugra)
1 cup of honey roasted macadamia nuts crushed
1/4 cup of granulated sugar optional
Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Grease springform pan and wrap in foil
Take crushed cookies, crushed honey roasted macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup of sugar and pour in 1/2 cup of melted butter. Then pour wet mixture into lined pan and slowly push down and out to form the crust. The crust should be firmly and evenly packed for best results. Then place in oven for about 10 minutes. Crust should be lightly toasted. Now this is a matter of preference. I prefer to pre-bake my crust while others do not. This will not effect the outcome of the cheesecake.
Next take ripened bananas and smash until smooth. A fun tip is place bananas in stand mixer with paddle attachment and let the mixer do the work in a matter of seconds you have the smoothest banana paste. Then place mixture with browns sugar in sauce pan and bring to a slight bubble, add lemon juice, then pour in bourbon, and then vanilla. Let mixture cool completely and leave to the side.
It is best if you use a stand mixer for these next parts. Next take softened cream cheese and whip for about 2 minutes until fluffy with the paddle attachment on. Slowly stream in the granulated sugar until completely combined. Then add in the eggs one at a time. Mixing well after each egg. Then add vanilla bean paste and mix quickly, be careful not over mix. Then take bowl and hand fold in the banana mixture. When nicely combined pour on top of crust.
Then take large roasting pan and fill halfway up with hot water, you are going to create a water bath for your cheesecake. Place the cheesecake in water, making sure that the cheesecake does not get wet. Carefully carry to the oven and set inside. Should take 45 minutes to an 1 hour. If you notice your cake starting to brown to quickly lower the temperature on the oven to 325 degrees. The cake should not jiggle and center will be firm. Cool completely then chill for at least 7 hours. I left mine overnight.
In a cold mixing bowl place heavy cream and whip until it thickens. Then add in powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste (optional) and whip till stiff peaks form. Place in piping bag with the tip of your choice.
Cut the cake into preferred slice sizes. Each slice will get a dollop of whipped cream. For added decoration slice bananas and toss with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. Stand the banana slice up in the whipped cream and sprinkle with extra cookie crumbs.