Friday, August 5, 2011

Pink Squirrel Cheesecake

I have been thinking about this recipe for quite some time.  The delay has been because I have been searching for a particular liqueur.  In case you are not familiar with the bar drink called the pink squirrel it is a mixture of creme de cacao, creme de noyaux and whipped cream.  The first liqueur represents a chocolate bean with vanilla flavor and the second is apricot kernels (same as amaretto but not brandy based).

My problem was that I could not find creme de noyaux.  I went to upscale liquor stores as well as ones protected by burglar bars.  No one seemed to have it. Tired from all this running around, I decided it was time to give up the search.  Then I saw a bottle on my way out that really made me think that I really don't know anything about popular bar drinks.  I was a tall, greenish bottle and it said "Hideous Liqueur".  I did not see any flavor mentioned on it, but if it was hideously flavored, I was definitely not interested!

Anyhow I did some calling around and finally found a place that carried it, so now I am able to bring you this recipe!  This makes one 9 inch cheesecake.

Pink Squirrel Cheesecake
by flourtrader

Ingredients/ Crust
15 vanilla sandwich cookies, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

Ingredients/ Filling
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup creme de noyaux
1/4 cup creme de cacao
3 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup whipping cream
24 oz cream cheese (room temp)
3 eggs (room temp)
1 egg yolk (room temp)
1 tbs plus 2 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar

Grease bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Place nuts and cookie crumbs in a small bowl and mix.  Then pour in the melted butter and stir until no dry areas remain.  The mixture should be crumbly.  Empty bowl into spring form pan.  Using your fingers or a fork, press crumbs into the bottom of the pan.  Make sure it is evenly covers the entire bottom.  Set aside and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch.  Then add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Add one egg and beat for 30 seconds.  Continue adding each egg and beating afterwards.  Then do the same with the egg yolk.

Pour both liqueurs, whipping cream and extracts into the batter.  Add the 3 drops of food coloring. Beat for about 3 minutes.  Then pour batter into the pan, covering the crust bottom. 

There are three intervals of time this cheesecake bakes in the oven.  The first session would be for 10 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until surface of cheesecake is no longer wet or glossy looking in the center.  Turn the oven off and remove cake.  Run a knife around the inside edge of pan and place back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove pan and place on trivet or potholders in fridge and let chill, uncovered, overnight.  The next day it is ready to serve.  To make this extra special, you can garnish with white chocolate curls or use a stencil and powdered sugar to make a design on top.  I intended to spruce mine up, but I ran out of time.  Enjoy!