Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Heaven

Cheesecake with MangoA good friend of mine turned 40 not too long ago and she decided that what she wanted was to have her friends with her to celebrate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The plans were made far in advance, and since then so much has happened.  Our house was torn apart by construction.  Immediately afterwards, my sister and her family came to stay for the Holidays.  Then busy season set in for my husband, and before I knew it, the date for our

A good friend of mine turned 40 recently and decided to celebrate by inviting her girlfriends to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a week.  The plans were made seemingly forever ago, but time flies when you’re busy, doesn’t it?  Since that time, we’ve had construction on our house, my sister and her family came to stay during the holidays, and then my husband’s busy season set in as it always does.  From one year to the next, I can never quite figure out how April finally gets here, but it thankfully does.  Normally about this time, my husband and I would be in Las Vegas where he enjoys unwinding for a couple of days, but in the fashion I’ve grown accustomed to in the years we’ve been married, he’s sending me off with good natured smiles  — and threats of taking photos of all he and my son eat while I’m away.  I can’t wait to see that.

This past weekend, we’ve been out and about enjoying the spring weather here, and had friends over for dinner.  Oh, yes — and cheesecake.  Lots and lots of cheesecake.  Now that I think of it, I must have had my almost tropical vacation on my mind when I conjured up these particular cheesecakes and didn’t realize it.  Or maybe it was that mangos have been on sale here.  And strawberries.  They go together quite well, you know, and what a coincidence that it’s time for my Daring Bakers’ challenge.

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. Many thanks to her for this delightfully tasty recipe.I’ve grown up with cheesecake. It’s been my favorite birthday cake forever if someone gives me a choice, and I’ve made quite a few myself to boot.  After scanning this particular recipe, I spent more time trying to decide just how I’d doctor it up since the recipe was fairly basic.  I ended up playing around with a variety of sizes, layers, and toppings to entertain myself.   I’d go into more detail, but I’ll have to put that off until I get back from my vacation.

Mangos and Piloncillo Mango Sauce

In a nutshell, I made a mango filling with piloncillo — Mexican brown sugar.   It’s that little cone you seen in the top photo. I  added some cardamom,  fresh ginger, lime, a bit of butter and let it simmer then cool. The crust is baked only briefly — about 5 minutes. The cooled filling is poured on, then the cheesecake batter.

IMG_3394 IMG_3397

I made both tiny and small mango cheesecakes with the only difference being the creme fraiche topping on the tiny ones.  I decided the pistachios were enough for one of the small rounds.  It’s difficult to see, but the mango sauce is the layer right above the crust.

Cheesecake with Mango Filling and Pistachios Cheesecake with Mango Filling and Pistachios

Some of my cheesecakes were topped with creme fraiche. My mom used to make my birthday cheesecakes with sour creme, so I had to make some of them like that, didn’t I?   After the cheesecake is baked, it’s removed from the oven to cool. A topping of creme fraiche, sugar, and vanilla is spread over it, and then baked for an additional 10 minutes.  To finish, I poured on a bit of mango puree, then arranged fresh strawberries.

Mango Puree

Cheesecake with Mango Puree and Strawberries

Cheesecake with Mango Puree and Strawberries

I could go on and on because I actually did spend a bit of time on this challenge with all the variables. I made fresh mango puree to spoon over a plain cheesecake topped with strawberries as well.
I chopped pistachios and topped another cheesecake with those, and sprinkled a few on another just to add a contrasting texture and flavor.

Cheesecake with Mango Filling

There are still three small cheesecakes like the one above in the fridge, waiting to be enjoyed. We’ll see if the guys do anything with them while I’m gone.

Bets anyone?

I’ll tidy this post up when I get back to include the directions and cooking times for my additions to this recipe.  We truly enjoyed this cheesecake which was interestingly fluffy.  A strange way to describe cheesecake, but I’ve never had a baked cheesecake with this texture.  Very light and creamy, but fluffy.  Nice.  Very nice.

(But those strawberries are hiding and exceedingly cracked surface — the worst I’ve ever seen!)

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37 thoughts on “Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Heaven

  1. That mango topping sounds delicious, and the strawberries look so pretty perched on top of the mango puree. It’s too early for strawberries in my neck of the woods, so I’ll just have to gaze longingly at that photo. 🙂

  2. Yea, I can see grass skirts, brilliant sunsets over the South Pacific, and myself sitting at the end of a dock with a drink in a coconut shell all over your cheesecake! Love mangoes.

  3. . . . girlfriends to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico . . . there’s about the best opening I can imagine. Everyone of you variations is beautiful, maybe I’d be partial to the pistachios but that last photo is really calling. (must try the brown sugar cone!)
    Have a grand week!

  4. Made the mistake of stopping by here first thing in the morning. Now my rye crisp with cheese doesn’t look so appetizing for breakfast…

  5. no way those cheesecakes’ll last in the fridge–they’re stunning, and i’m glad you got pictures before they get devoured.
    have a great trip!

  6. Mango cheesecake is delicious, this one looks perfect! It’s also my girlfriends father’s favorite cheesecake but he pronounces it “mongo” since he’s Mexican, although I always make fun of him for that.

  7. Mango cheesecake sounds so amazingly good! I really like the pistachio garnish. I have never seen or had that piloncillo though.

  8. Your cheesecakes do sound heavenly. Very creative decorations, too. If you look closely you can tell that there is a mango layer on top of the crust by the slight waviness between that layer and the creamy one. Magnificent cakes!

  9. Yum, they all look and sound divine. I didn’t realize strawberries and mangos went together so well. Love both of those, so why not together, right?

    Enjoy your trip and have a safe one!

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  11. Great presentation, the mango one especially looks beautiful and delicious. Pistachios and mangoes sounds like a great combination.

  12. Did you actually end up going to Mexico amidst all of the flu chaos??

    Your cheesecakes look fab. Did you bake them in a water bath? That’s the only way I’m able to avoid cracking. Fruit topping is always a great way to hide that sort of thing 🙂

  13. Your cheesecakes make my mouth water!! The mango and pistachio combination sounds heavenly!!! And your execution is flawless. The strawberries add a lovely touch. Beautiful job all around!!!

  14. Hi there…your cheese cakes are drool worthy. I made my first one just yesterday with pineapple. Yet to taste it though…it ‘looks’ pretty and didn’t crack up…let’s see how it tastes…only then will I post it at my blog ;p

    1. Hi Mary, I’m glad you made this comment, because I completely forgot to go back and include the information I promised to add after my vacation. Now I need to find the notes for my recipe. I hope you don’t need it immediately : / I’ll start looking and then try to get it posted this weekend. Many apologies!

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