This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge, and my very first cheesecake to make (I’ve had it once or twice before, though).
The recipe called for graham crackers for the crust, and they are nowhere to be found in Italy, where I live.
So, I checked in my teenage memories, back when my exotic bake researches stretched as far as United Kingdom and Ireland. I remember that cheesecakes there and then were made with a crust of Digestives, and as they have been my favorite cookies for a very long time, it was natural for me to use them.
So I mixed 12 crumbled cookies with 4oz (115gr) of butter and two tablespoons of sugar.
As for the actual cheese part, it went on pretty easily: I just mixed the cream cheese (24 oz/ 720gr) with 1 cup of sugar (200gr), 3 large eggs, 1 cup (240 ml) of heavy cream.
When it came to the flavor, there was no doubt: a few weeks ago I opened a rose water bottle, one that I had found last year in an International Food store in Las Vegas and that I was keeping as a big treasure, being it so difficult to find here.
The point is, how precious can a thing be, if you don’t use and enjoy it? And so now, we smell and taste a lot of rose, in this house!
I skipped the liquor that was in the original recipe, I kept a tablespoon of lemon juice, because lemon scent takes out rose’s one best, and went with 1.5 tbsp of rose water.
The baking was to be made in a water bath, but I didn’t trust my springform pan, so I followed a suggestion by Jill of Jillicious Desserts that I read on the Daring Kitchen forum. I used a normal pan, and after the cake cooled, I froze it. Once the cake was frozen, it was easy to pop it out of the pan (although it was not completely solid, even if it had stayed in the freezer overnight).
As a decoration I used non-treated roses and petals. This was a lot of fun for my kids, for when they saw me spreading petals around, thought that if Mommy was doing it, it must have been the right thing to do and “helped”.
The cake was very good, and the taste of roses was much stronger the day after the baking.
I know that many other Daring Bakers went down the monoportion/cupcakes path. It is a very good idea, and I wish I had it. I’ll keep it in mind for the next times.