Monday, December 10, 2012

‘Tis the Season Eggnog Cheesecake

Oh, Eggnog! For most of the year I don’t give it a thought, but when those holiday decorations start going up and the Christmas tunes start playing, all of a sudden I begin to crave that thick, rich, boozy treat. And, inevitably, it starts to find its way into my desserts. 

Eggnog is the meeting of nutmeg and booze, and what a meeting it is. To capture the essence of eggnog, the nutmeg absolutely must be freshly grated – don’t use that pre-ground dead stuff in a jar  – and the booze can be dark rum (my fave), brandy or bourbon, as you 

prefer. Here I’ve featured the combination in a rich cheesecake that’s idea for a holiday dinner. The crust is made with cinnamon graham crackers, and is just the thing for the rich eggnog filling. The trick to achieving a perfectly textured cheesecake – creamy and 

very smooth – is two-fold. First, once you’ve made the cake batter, pass it through a fine-mesh sieve right into the crust. This ensures there won’t be any little globs of undissolved cream cheese in the cake. Second, place the springform pan into a slightly larger pan to insulate it from the water bath. With this trick, you’ll never have another soggy crust. So, go ahead, indulge a little. ‘Tis the season, after all.