Friday, February 10, 2006

Banana Split Cheesecake

Yesterday, OCT accidentally deleted all his work in his computer. That included all the photo records of his mice, which was important to him.Luckily the techical support staff managed to recover it for him.

Out of immerse gratitude, he offered to bake something for him. And added that his wife is a good cook.He even told him that my specialty was cheesecake...Of course I am glad that he appreciates my cooking, but I warned him not to brag anymore in the future. (Because I am REALLY NOT that good!) Sometime OCT's enthusiasm and appraisal in front of our friends really put me in a very awkward position. I mean, my stuff are obviously edible, but it's not VERY GOOD, as he always trumpets.

My relentless effort to educate him to be more modest and humble doesn't seem to yield....So, he offered the guy Cheesecake. He called me and passed the decree.
"I asked what would the guy like. But he said no need." OCT said
"Oh, so?" I asked.
"I asked if he likes cheesecake, and said you are good at baking cheesecake!"
"Then what he said?" I asked anxiously, and had a foreboding.
"He said ok!" OCT announced airily.
"You should have asked me first! We can make him scones. I still have A LOT of unbake dough in the freezer, you know? Or make biscottis that can last longer...."
" how? I told him already. But never mind, we can still give him scones"

Of course, we made cheesecake eventually. But what cheesecake? I asked OCT. He wanted Banana Cheesecake. (Because we have some bananas, he reasoned) I did a quick check on the recipes from a few websites that I used regularly, and decided on the recipe below. As OCT happily brought a piece to his lab this morning, I cut a generous piece for myself as brunch. It was nice and light, with a hint of sour cream, and the mashed banana goes well with cream cheese, not overly sweet, but definitely refreshing.

Banana Split Cheesecake


Crust: (I used store-bought crust to save time, and looked more professional than my self made crust)
1 cup packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, meltedCooking spray

Filling: ( I halved all the ingredients here)
3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened ( used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar (used slightly less sugar)
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana ( abt 3 Del Monte's if you are making a full recipe, or more)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Toppings: (Skipped, altogether. I preferred not to add extra toppings)
1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup strawberry sundae syrup
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
16 maraschino cherries, drained


1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling:

3.Beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth.
4. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well.
5. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.
6. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. (It should take slightly less than an hour to bake, mine was done in 40 mins)
7. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. (Switch off the oven when the side is firm, not the center. Add leave the cake in oven. This prevents cracking)
8. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge.
9. Cool cheesecake to room temperature.
10.Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
11. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry. (This is really optional, the cheesecake is tasty enough without topping)

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 wedge with toppings)

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