Ugly Lime Cheesecake

My sister decided to host an ugly sweater party for her birthday, which happens to fall on Twelfth Night (the 12th day of Christmas, Epiphany, Dia de los Reys, etc.).  I feel a little funny posting a holiday blog several weeks after the holidays, but life got in the way, and I am just now getting around to sharing it with you.

My sister works in the wedding industry, and specifically requested a non-cake birthday cake.  Apparently, it is possible to get caked-out.  Hence my choice for baking a cheesecake.  She also requested lime flavoring, and in the spirit of the ugly sweater party I covered my cheesecake in a lime mousse holiday wreath.

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Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 4 tbsp melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages of Cream Cheese
  •  1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Lime Extract (or 1 tsp Lime juice and 1 tsp Vanilla Extract)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • zest from 1 Lime

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (~163 C).
  2. Make the crust:
    1. Combine the graham crackers and brown sugar in a food processor.
    2. Gradually pour in the melted butter, while pulsing, until the dough begins to clump together.
    3. Lightly press the graham cracker dough into the bottom of a springform baking pan.
    4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, before removing it from the oven and setting it aside to cool.
  3. Make the cheesecake filling:
    1. Beat together the sugar, flour, salt, and cream cheese until fluffy.
    2. Beat in the lime extract and zest.
    3. Gradually beat in the sour cream.
    4. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
    5. Your filling should be smooth and lump free.
  4. Pour the filling onto your graham cracker crust.
  5. Bake your cheese cake for an hour.  You may want to add a tray with some water in it to create a steam bath to help prevent cracking.

Lime Mousse:

Ingredients:

  •  3 Eggs separated + 1 whole Egg
  • 1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Lime zest
  • 2-4 drops Green Food Coloring
  • 1 (0.25 oz) envelope of unflavored Gelatin
  • Maraschino Cherries and Gold Sugar Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and food coloring.
  2. Bring these to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the 3 egg whites into firm peaks, and set them aside.
  4. Once the lime/milk concoction has started to boil, allow it to boil for a few minutes before removing it from the heat.
  5. Immediately stir in the gelatin.
  6. Gradually beat in the egg yokes and whole egg.  Make sure that the liquid is cool enough to not curdle the eggs.
  7. Spoon a third of the egg whites into the yoke mixture and fold gently.
  8. Add another third of egg whites, and continue to gently fold.
  9. Fold in the final third of egg whites insuring that the mousse is as light as possible.
  10. Store the mousse in the refrigerator of a few hours until it has set.
  11. Using a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle and no piping tip, pipe the mousse onto your cheesecake, layering it to form a large wreath.
  12. Decorate your wreath with maraschino cherries and gold sugar sprinkles.

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