Thursday, July 5, 2012

RIP: Bananas Foster Cheesecake

Ok. I'm cheating a bit here with the picture (it's not mine), but let me explain why before you run away.

You see, I dropped it. I have this history of desserts on July 4th... last year, my husband and I were riding our scooter to a friend’s house with a peach cobbler bungee-d on the back.  100 yards from our destination, we hit an enormous pothole, and I turned to witness the beautiful cobbler rising before crashing to the ground and sliding like a hockey puck a good thirty feet, straight as an arrow.  In awe, David stuck out his foot and stopped it.  The pyrex (and cobbler!) were virtually unharmed.  We marveled at modern engineering, vowing to write pyrex to tell them how awesome they were. We gleefully bungee-strapped that sucker back on the scooter,  and laughed as we rounded the final corner… only to hear a gooey crunching sound as the pyrex shattered into a billion pieces, and cobbler glass glued itself to the scooter. Pyrex did NOT get a letter.

At least this year we got to try the dessert, which is why I’m still posting the recipe, sans my own picture of this beautiful cheesecake. It was THAT good.

Only 25% of Mr. Cheesecake got consumed (we arrived late, and he was competing with a sexy rival: Ms. Triple Cherry Cheesecake).
I’ll be gone this weekend, and was happy that so much awesome would be left with my husband. I mean, seriously. Wouldn't want to go a night without dessert. In his excitement to be home, Mr. Cheesecake got caught totally off-guard by the sidewalk. A few seconds later, his fate was clinched by a slide down the stairs.  There was mourning, however, he was not followed in death by Ms. Triple Cherry, whom my husband caught in mid-air. Yes, I am that clumsy.  No, I didn’t have anything to drink, but it’s cute you were trying to find an excuse for me. And yes. I tried to save it after a drop on the SIDEWALK because I wasn't willing to say goodbye yet (to it or the time spent making it), and because it is THAT GOOD.  So, all this to say, there wasn't even a slice to photograph. Not. one.

I wanted to pout when I got home, but somehow that didn't seem very grown up. Also, David was so excited to go on the roof to see the fireworks that all our neighbors were shooting off. There was a 360 degree view (and also the loudest fireworks ever produced, thoughtfully shot off ad nauseum by our neighbors. They set off car alarms every. time).

                                        See recipe after the jump...

Did you get over-zealous in your fruit selection? Did you go bananas on the bananas?

Somehow, I thought a fifteen banana bunch from Costco was a good idea. Bananas aren’t like apples or oranges, who will patiently sit in your bowl for weeks waiting for some love and attention. NO. They must ALL ripen at exactly the same time.  And, unlike Congress, when bananas get together, synergy happens. “We’re all yellow! No, now we’re all black! Ok, we all agree, now we’re really black!”

This is all ok, because Banana Foster Cheesecake requires six quite ripe bananas, which is the exact number I happened to have.  “Yes, I have no bananas for you!”

Le Bananas Foster Cheesecake (with Caramel Rum Sauce)

From the always wonderful Bon Appétit Cookbook

This takes several hours to make. Read all the directions first, friends. But remember: it's worth it.


3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large eggs
2 cups puréed bananas (from about 4 bananas)
1 cup sour cream
(original says 'low-fat'; I say, it's already cheesecake, so why bother?)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt


1 cup sour cream (again, original says 'low-fat')
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 17-ounce jar caramel sauce
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 bananas, peeled, sliced

For crust:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 3-inch -high sides with heavy-duty foil. Combine flour, pecans, butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in cornstarch. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add puréed banana, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Beat just until combined.
Transfer filling to crust-lined pan. Place pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake until center of cake is just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven. Maintain oven temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare topping:
Mix together sour cream, sugar and vanilla in small bowl until well blended. Spread topping over cheesecake. Bake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven until cooled to room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate cake until well chilled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cut around cake to loosen; remove pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Warm caramel sauce in small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Mix in rum. Drizzle some sauce decoratively over cake. Arrange bananas top cake.
Cut cake into wedges. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Don't drop on the ground.

Kristen Mrdjanov

Next week: Bruschetta and then some pizza!


  1. ha! this was hilarious. sorry about your shattered desserts! at least they make a good story. and don't worry you don't need pictures. just the title of this is jaw-dropping, and i am definitely adding it to my to make list.

  2. You are a really funny writer Kristen! And if you make this Triple Cherry Cheesecake in November I will be there all week ;)


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