Banana Cream Cheesecake

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Cake, Desserts |

I LOVE the Cheesecake Factories Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake. About 3 years ago I made this for Easter. And my grandma looked at me and said, “this is the best cheesecake I have ever had.” Wow, I impressed my grandmother? Ha. She is hard to impress. Much like her granddaughter (me).
I made it again yesterday for a a group of people at church. I made a mini one because everyone at church always seems to be on a never ending diet. And this time I used pretzels in the crust instead of vanilla wafers. It was a great substitute! All you dieting suckers, you missed out! And now begins my 30 day dessert fast. Why? Because I have been WAY overeating desserts and I think my blood sugar levels would appreciate a break.

20 vanilla sandwich cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 blocks light cream cheese (8oz each), room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 bananas
1 tsp banana extract
1 tablespoon vanilla

Caramel Banana Topping
2 bananas, thick sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup caramel squares, unwrapped

Melt the caramel squares in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add in the cream. When the caramel is melted add the banana slices. Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add a water bath to the oven. This will help the cheesecake cook through more evenly.

2.Place cookies in a food processor; process with on/off pulse until finely crushed. Add melted butter; process with pulses until blended. Line a springform pan with tin foil (to prevent any water from seeping into the cheesecake). Press crumb mixture onto bottom of 10-inch springform pan; refrigerate.

3.Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar; beat until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the heavy cream, slowly.

4. Puree banana in a food processor. Add the banana extract. No chunks!

5. Add bananas and vanilla to the cheesecake mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix! Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.

6. Bake cheesecake for 45-55 minutes. Until it is almost set, and barely getting golden brown on the top. Turn off the oven (DO NOT forget to turn it off! – very important) and continue baking 75 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack at room temperature. this will help prevent cracking. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight before serving.

7. Top the cheesecake with the caramel bananas, slice and serve!

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