Sounds weird, I know!
1. I had half a dozen ripe avocados staring at me from the fruit basket and
2. I had a Daring Bakers Challenge to do. The challenge was to make a cheesecake and a basic recipe was posted with instructions to make it ‘unique’ and get creative with flavors and presentation.
Put these two entities together and what do you get? Sweet Avocado Cheesecake!
I remembered an avocado cheesecake a couple of years ago at the innovative Cafe Red Onion, a Latin fusion restaurant. It was delicious. Avocados, being neutral in flavor, lend themselves to savory or sweet renditions. I believed that the velvetiness would enhance the creamy texture of my cheesecake. I would add lots of lime juice in an attempt to keep the color fresh. I was so excited about the idea I began baking right away.
The verdict: I liked it! My neighbor, Carolina loved it! She couldn’t detect the taste of avocado at all. Her daughter thought it was a pretty good lime cheesecake. Husbie wouldn’t go near it! And my sister and her family expressed a distinct dislike for the texture and color. Thanks, Ve and co. for your honesty! My friend Alma did not care for it. Her charming son, Joey, thought it was ‘interesting’ but liked it! And her husband John… haven’t heard back from him yet!
So, I’d say it’s a clear winner!!! I guess it’s not for everyone!
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. You can click on her site to find the original recipe. Thanks to Jenny and the founders of the Daring Bakers, Lis and Ivonne for keeping the ‘daring’ in over a thousand bakers all over the world!
I modified Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake a little so that I could incorporate the avocados and lime juice. Next time I make it (yes, there will be a next time), I will use one avocado less so that the cheesecake is a more pleasing color. Some people just couldn’t handle it! The mango and citrus ‘salsa’ is sweet and tart and is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the cheesecake.
Sweet avocado cheesecake with mango and citrus ‘salsa’ Make the cheesecake the day you plan to serve it because it needs to chill overnight. The ‘salsa’ should be made the day of serving (see instructions below).
- Almond Crust
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
Put almonds in processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter and pulse until blended but still crumbly. Pat into the bottom and a little up the sides of a 9” springform baking pan (I made two small cakes – one 5” round, and one 6 1/4” round). Set aside.
- Cheesecake batter
- 2 packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2-3 (I’d go with 2) ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon rum
- pinch of salt
Prepare a water bath by half filling a shallow roasting pan with very hot water. Place the pan on the lowest rack in the oven. Place another rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time until all are incorporated.
Place avocados in a food processor. Blend until very smooth. Add zest, lime juice, sour cream, rum and salt. Blend well.
Add avocado mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend on low speed until well blended. Pour into cake pan. Place pan on middle rack in oven. If you’re using a 9” pan, bake for 45 minutes than check to see if it set but still a little ‘jiggly’ in the middle after you bump the pan a little.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Chill overnight.
- Avocado ‘Salsa’
- You can make the salsa without the avocado ahead of time. Peel and cut avocado not too long before you plan to serve it so that it doesn’t discolor.
- 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 orange, peeled and segmented then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled and segmented then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 mango, peeled, flesh cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Combine avocado and lime juice in medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Place fruit mixture in a sieve and drain juices off before decorating cheesecake.