Recipe of the Week: Neggnog Cheesecake
Have you ever looked at an item on Neopets and thought "That looks good! I wish I could reach through the screen and take a bite!"? Well, now you can! Well, sort of. Now you, too, can make delicious detectable delights straight from Neopia in the comfort of your own home.
Disclaimer: If you are under 18 please get an adult to assist you. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed please do not attempt to make any of the recipes, or find a substitute for said ingredient. Be safe! We don't want anything to happen to you, but we are not held responsible for any burns, scratches, or any other baking related mishaps.
Last week we made 8th Rainbow Birthday Cupcakes. They were so bright and yummy and tasted just like rainbows! If rainbows were a thing you could eat, that is. We’re past the time of year that Neopians and Neopets alike drink their weight in Neggnog, but that doesn’t stop us! One of my favorite drinks when it’s cold outside is eggnog, second only to hot cocoa. That brings me to…
This week's recipe: 8thNeggnog Cheesecake
Ingredients Needed: nutmeg, butter, cream cheese, cornstarch, granulated sugar, eggs, egg yolk (separated from the white), vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, salt, eggnog, brown sugar, whipping cream (different from whipped cream!), whipped cream, oven, oven mitts, whisk, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, 9-inch Springform pan, non-stick cooking spray.
First we’re going to make the crust, because what would a cheesecake be without a yummy graham cracker crust?
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get assistance with this step if needed.
Step 2: Add 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup of sugar, and ¾ cup nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Whisk together until combined.
Step 3: Pour 1/3 cup of melted butter over the mixture, and stir to combine.
Step 4: Spray your pan 9-inch Springform pan with the nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to get the sides!
Step 5: Dump the mixture into said 9-inch Springform pan. Push the graham cracker mixture up onto the sides of the pan, until the sides reach about two inches high. Equally disperse the remaining mixture and press into the bottom of the pan.
Step 6: Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Get assistance with this step if needed.
Next, we get to make the yummy Neggnog cheesecake filling!
Step 7: Place 4 blocks of softened cream cheese into a large mixing bowl (preferably electric). Whip until creamy. Get assistance with this step if needed.
Step 8: Combine 1 ¾ cups of granule sugar and 5 tsp of cornstarch with the cream cheese. Mix everything together until it’s light and fluffy.
Step 9: Add 4 eggs (1 at a time!) into the mixture, and mix after each one until well combined. Continue mixing while adding 1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1 ½ tsp nutmeg.
Step 10: It’s not Neggnog cheesecake without Neggnog! With the mixer (electric preferably) on low, slowly add 2/3 cup of Neggnog; once incorporated continue mixing until the entire mixture is creamy.
Step 11: After the crust is cooled, pour the cheesecake mixture into it. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get it all, and make sure it's distributed evenly through the crust.
Step 12: Using assistance if needed, put the cheesecake into the oven. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hr to 1 hr 10 min.
Step 13: Using assistance if needed, run a knife around the edges of the pan to get the cheesecake out. The cheesecake will rise beyond the edges of the pan. Be as gentle as possible when removing it and setting it on a wire cooling rack.
Step 14: Cool for about 1 hr, then transfer the cheesecake to the fridge. Store it in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
Next, we're going to make the delicious caramel drizzle that goes on top. Disclaimer: The topping on the actual Neopets item may not be caramel, but what goes better with cheesecake and Neggnog?
Step 15: Use assistance with this step if needed. In a medium to large saucepan, combine 2 tbsp of butter, 1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Whisk everything together to combine.
Note: It won't look like much at first, but when it starts boiling it will double in size.
Step 16: With the burner on medium to high heat, bring everything to a boil.
Step 17: Continue boiling for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on everything; nothing is worse than burnt caramel.
Step 18: Set aside to cool. After everything is cooled, put it in a closed container (I prefer jars) and put it in the fridge until it's ready to use.
The next day!
Step 19: Pull the cheesecake and the caramel mixture out of the fridge. It should be set by now.
Step 20: Carefully drizzle the caramel mixture over the cheesecake. We want the top to be covered and the caramel to be drizzled down the sides as well, like in the picture. We don't want to cover the entire cheesecake, though!
Step 21: After the cheesecake is covered in caramel, take the whipped cream and add little dollops of whipped cream around the edges of the cake. Use the image courtesy of Neopets for a guideline! (I like to make it so each slice of cheesecake has one dollop of whipped cream on it, so imagine how big you want the slices and you can use that to determine how far apart to put the dollops. You can put them side by side if you'd prefer, it's up to you!)
Step 22: Cut the cheesecake into triangular slices, take a picture, eat, and enjoy!
We suggest you pair this cheesecake with a frosty cup of Neggnog! Neopets has several to choose from, so you and your pet can both enjoy a delicious Neggnog delight!