Welcome to the Alpha Bakers bake-a-long, an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared, but I will post my commentary followed by a full photo tutorial. Feel free to visit my archive above for actual recipes and step-by-step photos for all kinds of things from main dishes to desserts, and everything in between.
This week's selection - Lemon Almond Cheesecake. A light and airy, almost wet cheesecake. It's so light it kind of falls apart as you eat it, despite containing a ton of egg yolks, cream cheese, and sour cream. The recipe includes a cake layer that is used as a crust, but I omitted that component. If you like traditional thick, heavy cheesecakes - you might not care for this one.
Special ingredients and/or equipment needed - stand mixer, coffee/spice grinder, 9-inch springform pan (or this special water-tight "push pan"), digital scale, citrus squeezer, microplane zester, fine mesh strainer, digital thermometer.
How does it taste - Remarkably light and airy-ish. Flavor wise, I do not detect any almond, just lemon. I must admit, I do not care for the bits of ground almond and lemon zest, and the texture is too wet for my liking, but family members didn't seem to mind. The lemon curd glaze won me over. It's a lovely cheesecake, but I'd rather make my favorite dense NYTimes Cheesecake or the scaled down version, these mini cheesecakes.
How does it look - Elegant. I especially like the beautiful lemon curd glaze.
Level of difficulty - I did not make the cake layer, but the cheesecake filling and lemon curd glaze were both quite easy.
Were the directions clear - Again, I didn't make the cake base, but the cheesecake filling and lemon curd glaze directions were both pretty straight forward, although I would have liked the recipe to include what the internal cheesecake temp should have reached before turning the oven off.
What would I do differently next time - Omit the ground almonds and almond extract because I didn't care for the texture of the ground almonds and I couldn't taste the almond extract at all so why waste 2 teaspoons worth?
Okay, here's my photo tutorial.