Happy National Cheesecake Day on July 30th! I decided to mark the occasion by making one of my favorite cheesecakes – Banana Chocolate Crumb Cheesecake!
This is a soft, not-too-sweet, delicately flavored banana cheesecake with a dark chocolate cookie crumb “crust”. The custard recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s banana variation of her Cordon Rose Cheesecake in The Cake Bible – a truly excellent cookbook.
Make 1 day ahead
Ingredients (at room temperature)
1 lb. (2 8-oz. pkgs.) cream cheese
1 c. granulated white sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 c. sour cream
2 large, very ripe bananas, enough to make 1 c. mashed
3 T. fresh lemon juice, strained
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c crushed dark chocolate wafer cookies (use gluten-free cookies for a gluten-free cheesecake)
1. Butter the inside of an 8″ springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan – just smaller than 8″ in diameter. Butter the paper and then place it in pan.
2. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage from the water bath.
3. Have ready a larger baking pan – I use a 9″-square brownie pan – to use as a water bath for baking the cheesecake.
Directions for Making Cheesecake Custard
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Using a mixer or large food processor, beat together cream cheese and sugar until perfectly smooth. Scrape bowl. Beat in vanilla and salt, then sour cream. Scrape bowl. Mash bananas together with lemon juice. Beat bananas into custard. Scrape bowl.
3. Pour custard into prepared springform pan. Place pan in larger baking pan. Pour in 1″ of very hot water. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off, without opening the door, and leave cheesecake in oven for one hour. Remove cheesecake from oven and from water bath. Remove foil from pan. Plan pan on a cooling rack and let cheesecake continue cooling at room temperature for one more hour. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator overnight.
1. The next day, wipe outside of cheesecake pan with a hot, damp towel. Run a thin spatula around the inside of the pan. Release the clasp on the springform pan and remove the outside of pan. If there is condensation on the cheesecake, lightly pat it dry with a paper towel. Invert cheesecake onto a flat plate or a small cutting board covered with plastic wrap. Remove parchment paper.
2. Pat cookie crumbs onto bottom and sides of cheesecake. Re-invert onto serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving. Garnish and serve.
• Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and banana and/or strawberry slices.
• Whipped cream and hot fudge.
• Whipped cream and dark cherries.
• For Banana Split Cheesecake, serve with whipped cream, banana slices, strawberry slices, pineapple chunks, chopped walnuts, chocolate sauce, and melted strawberry jam.
Enjoy! Happy National Cheesecake Day!