If you love bananas this is the dessert for you. A rich cheesecake flavored with very ripe bananas topped with bananas roasted with rum, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.
I do my cheesecakes a little differently than some others. First of all, I don’t bake them in a spring form pan. Almost every spring form pan I’ve ever owned becomes a bit warped over time, making it almost impossible to bake in a water bath without leaking, and I find wrapping the pan in foil tedious and not always water proof.
I use a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper and then use a blow torch (or hot water, but a blow torch is more fun!) to release the cold cake from the pan. I’ve never had a problem with a cake sticking.
Some recipes recommend that you leave the baked cheesecake in the oven as it cools. I think the reasoning on this is that the cake will finish baking and then cool very slowly so it won’t shrink and crack. I remove the cake from the oven as soon as it’s ready, allow it to cool just a bit, then run a thin knife around the sides of the warm cheesecake to release it from the pan.
Most recipes say the cake is baked when the cake is mostly set but the center still jiggles a bit. This recipe has so much moisture from the sour cream and the bananas I find it’s very easy to underbake it. I bake it until the cake is set all the way, but it’s still pale in color and moves as a mass, not just in the middle.
Here are some other tips for cheesecake success–
- To avoid lumps of cream cheese in the batter, make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature before mixing. Thoroughly scrape the bowl after mixing the cheese, after adding the sugar and after each addition of eggs to the batter.
- Do not over mix the batter or mix on high speed, especially after the eggs are added. Over mixing aerates the batter, causing it to puff up and crack as it bakes.
- Do not use the convection setting of your oven. I love convection baking, but not for custards.
- Just like any other custard, a cheesecake needs to bake in a water bath. The water will help the custard bake at an even temperature. Baking a custard without a bath can cause curdling and puffing, yuk!
- Chill completely in the refrigerator before unmolding.
If you're using a blow torch--place a flat plate or cardboard cake circle over the top of the cake pan. Flip the cake over and run a blowtorch over the sides and bottom of the pan until the cake releases. I like to add the bananas to the chilled cheesecake just before serving. I prefer not to refrigerate the roasted bananas because the texture is not as nice when cold.
Graham Cracker Crust
To make the Crust
Make the cheesecake batter
Unmold (See note if you're using a blow torch)
To make the topping
If you're using a blow torch--place a flat plate or cardboard cake circle over the top of the cake pan. Flip the cake over and run a blowtorch over the sides and bottom of the pan until the cake releases.
I like to add the bananas to the chilled cheesecake just before serving. I prefer not to refrigerate the roasted bananas because the texture is not as nice when cold.
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