The Daring Bakers #2 Cheesecake...

My second challenge - and something easy this time... or so I thought... ;) The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. Why infamous - I have no idea but hope my will be 'famous' ;)

Cheesecake is very popular in Poland but we make it differently... The base is always some kind of dough (not crumbled crackers or cookies mixed with butter etc.) it's usually short crust pastry. This was my first of the kind and it was great fun making it :) I had only some problems with the base as I had to substitute graham crackers with something else - my choice was chocolate chip cookies... which worked great! I will definitely make it once again but this time with different base - I just have to experiment ;) I had too much batter so I've made some mini-cheesecakes too, they were very 'handy'.

How to make it...

- 2 cups/100 g Chocolate chip cookies
- 50 g butter, melted
- 600 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 150 g sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 100 g heavy cream
- 1 bag of powdered vanilla pudding (Polish 'budyƄ')
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 C. Begin to boil a large pot of water for 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 - baker's choice. 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, powdered vanilla pudding and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes, 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 one hour, 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, it is ready to serve.