I am a cheesecake-aholic. I never met a cheesecake that I didn’t like. I’ve never turned down cheesecake. You get the picture. So when my office building sent out an email that said “Free Build-Your-Own Cheesecake Party,” I was the first in line! I had never heard of this concept before, and it was amazing! They provided individual round cheesecakes that were the perfect size. The toppings were numerous, including all kinds of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, and of course chocolate and caramel sauce! I love fresh berries on cheesecake so I chose the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, along with the chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. The key is not to put too much sauce on it. I like to enjoy the cheesecake flavor without it being overpowered by any of the toppings.
This “cheesecake bar” concept would be great for any event, such as a wedding. How fun! People really get into it and can choose exactly what they want to make their perfect cheesecake. You can but the individual cheesecakes at the grocery store or you can make them yourself. All you need is your favorite cheesecake recipe and food ring molds.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 oz. butter, melted
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Tightly wrap double layer of foil around base of ring molds, making sure no seams in foil below the halfway mark or you might spring a leak in the water bath. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too. Set crust aside. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the ring mold on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place ring mold into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the ring mold (make sure not to pour water over the foil!). Bake 25 minutes if using 2- and 3-inch ring molds, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After 30 minutes for small ring molds, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, unmold and serve.