Banana Pudding Cheesecake
- 3-4 very ripe bananas + 2 less ripe bananas for decor
- 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, soft at room temperature
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Copycat Vanilla Wafers
- Crème Chantilly
- Remove any dark brown spots from bananas. Using a stick blender or a stand blender, puree 3-4 bananas. Pour in a measuring cup and measure 1 1/3 cups. Add and mix in lemon juice. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place a 9-inch springform pan on 3 layers of aluminum foil and wrap outside of pan tightly with foil. Ensure that water cannot penetrate thru foil. Place in a roasting pan and set aside.
- The crust of cheesecake will be added after baking as this will ensure a perfect texture.
- Blend cream cheese and sugar on lowest speed, alternatively mix by using a handheld spatula until no lumps remain. Scrape bowl well.
- Add one egg at a time waiting for previously added egg to be fully incorporated and mixture shows no lumps. Scrape bowl and beater between additions.
- Add vanilla and banana puree and pour batter into the springform pan.
- Pour water into the roasting pan about one inch high and place in the oven.
- Bake until center of cake no longer trembles when tapping the sides of pan, about 90 minutes, but it could take up to 2 hours depending on temperature of cheesecake batter.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and place in refrigerator overnight.
- Run a sharp knife around the edge of cheesecake and remove from sides of pan.
- Place a sheet of plastic food wrap on surface of cake followed by a cutting board or platter.
- Flip cake upside down. Remove bottom of cake pan. If it is slightly sticking run a knife underneath to release it.
- Place vanilla cookies (bottom of the cookies facing up) very close together on cheesecake. Break some cookies to fill gaps.
- Place a serving platter on cheesecake and flip cake once more upside down. The original baked surface will once again be facing upward.
- For Crème Chantilly, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla to firm peaks and decorate surface of cake using a star pastry tip.
- Decorate sides of cheesecake with additional wafer cookies. If they refuse to stick use some whipped cream.
- Cut remaining bananas in slices and toss gently in juice of a half lime or lemon. Place on cake. (The lemon juice will help keep the bananas from turning brown, but you may decide to perform this step right before serving.)
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