Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Almond Cheesecake

"Wow" your guests with this fabulous cheesecake. Takes a little work, but the results are worth it. I haven't tasted an almond cheesecake like this before!

Graham Nut Crust

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened Sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Praline topping
  • Oven: 350 degrees

Graham Nut Crust
Combine 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine, 1/4 cup ground almonds and three teaspoons of sugar. Press on the bottom and one inch up the sides of an eight or nine inch springform pan.

Cake
Prepare crust and chill. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2/3 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then beat until smooth. Stir in almonds, almond extract, and salt. Pour into chilled crust and bake 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand on rack twenty minutes. Combine sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the vanilla extract. Spread on the cake. Return cake to oven and bake ten minutes longer. Cool on rack, then refrigerate. Run spatula around edge of cake to loosen, then remove sides of pan. Sprinkle with praline topping. Serves eight to ten (better make it ten; this is a rich cake).

Praline Topping
Melt 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When amber in color, stir in 1/3 cup whole blanched or unblanched almonds, coating well. Carefully pour onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and cool. Break praline into pieces, put into a towel, and crush coarsely with a rolling pin.

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