It's Eggnog. It's cheesecake. It's perfect for the holidays. Enough said.
Serves 8 to 10
FOR THE CRUST 2 cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ cup granulated sugar 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs, room temperature 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup best-quality eggnog 2 Tablespoons brandy, dark rum, or Cognac 1½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ cup granulated sugar ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pour graham cracker crumbs into a 9 inch-diameter springform pan; add butter and stir to mix. Press mixture evenly over bottom and ½ inch up side of pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
In the bowl of a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down inside of bowl as needed. Mix in flour, eggnog, brandy, and nutmeg until just incorporated. Pour batter into cooled, crust-lined pan and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake has a slight jiggle in the middle, and is slightly firm to the touch.
Run a thin-bladed knife between cheesecake and pan rim. Put cheesecake on a rack and let cool completely. Cover and chill until cold, at least 3 hours. Remove pan rim. If any moisture has collected on cake, gently blot dry with a paper towel. Cut cake slices with a serrated knife, running knife under hot water and wiping clean after each slice.
To whip the cream; in a small bowl, whisk together cream, vanilla and sugar until medium peaks form. Dollop whipped cream onto cheesecake and dust with remaining ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
Private chef and cookbook author David Lawrence grew up in a house where the kitchen was always abuzz with activity. He learned early the simple pleasures of cooking and spent years assisting in his Mother’s kitchen, a woman he affectionately describes as a Martha Stewart incarnate, minus the chic poncho and clunky ankle bracelet! From then on David knew his mission was clear, he wanted to feed and entertain people.
David’s cookbook, Boy Eats World! A Private Chef Cooks Simple Gourmet, (Lake Isle Press) is all about having fun in the kitchen and demystifies cooking for the Atari generation. David’s humorous style and easy to follow recipes will help even the most timid cook feel like a kitchen rock star!