Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Banana Cream Cheesecake

When we go to the Cheesecake Factory I always ask my husband which cheesecake he is going to choose and it is the same every time. Banana. I don’t really know why I ask anymore. I myself do not have a favorite unless it is the two weeks out of the year that you can get Pumpkin. Yum. I’m a fan of pumpkin. You will see by my recipe selections this fall. Aren’t you excited? I know I am. So back to Banana Cheesecake. He loves banana flavored things which is interesting to me cause I don’t see him actually eat any bananas. But, I made this cheesecake yesterday with him in mind.
There are a few things to note. Number 1, make sure the sides of your crust do not clump up in the edges of the pan or it will be too thick and hard. You need even amounts of crust all over the pan. Number 2, the lemon juice is important for flavor. I did use a drop of lemon extract for extra flavor. It needed it. Number 3, the cheesecake cracks! (30 minutes after it comes out of the oven.) Yes, I hate when that happens, and no one took the time to warn me so I could guard against it. By simply putting a shallow pan of water on the lower rack of your oven you will create steam which will keep the cake from cracking and drying out. This works the majority of the time however, since I was not warned I did not get to try this out. My big clue should have been the small amount of Cool Whip topping.
The brown sugar in the crust and cake was excellent. The bananas baked very well and did not look strange afterwards. I did enjoy the creaminess and simplicity of this dessert; a lot less fuss and cost of a normal cheesecake in a springform pan.
If you find yourself at the Cheesecake Factory and you want real food, give the Chicken Piccata a try. It is the best!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Banana Cream Cheesecake
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package white cake mix, divided
4 eggs, divided
3 tablespoons oil
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed, divided
2 bananas, sliced
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, Philadelphia, Softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups whipped topping, Cool Whip, thawed
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Reserve 1 cup of the dry cake mix. Mix remaining cake mix with 1 egg, oil and 1/3 cup sugar with mixer (mixture will be crumbly). Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan; top with bananas.
Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer. Add reserved cake mix, remaining eggs and lemon juice; beat 1 minute. Blend in milk (batter will be thin). Pour into crust.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with whipped topping, Refrigerate leftovers.

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