Servings: Many! And it’s SO rich!
Suggested Tools and Materials:
Mixer with Paddle
Various measuring cups/spoons
9″ Spring Form Pan
Wilton’s Checkerboard Cake Insert (see links in the Notes, below)
2 cups finely chopped roasted almonds and pecans (about 10 oz total)
1 stick butter
1 tbsp light agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
3-8 oz cream cheese packages
¾ cup light agave nectar
3 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream (reduced to make up for the additional liquid)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla
Red and Yellow Food Coloring
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare the spring form pan. Grease it thoroughly, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Line the outside of the pan with 1-2 layers of aluminum foil.
Mix all of the crust ingredients together in the food processor. Pour into pan and bake approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
Mix all of the cake ingredients (except the food coloring) one item at a time with a paddle attachment on the mixer, until each ingredient is just mixed. Be sure to introduce the eggs to the batter one at a time. Do not over mix. The batter will be slightly runnier than you are used to due to the Agave Nectar. No worries – it will be fine.
Insert the Wilton’s Checkerboard Insert into the cake pan. Press it into the crust a little bit, to prevent the batter from leaking underneath the insert. This will divide the pan into three sections: a center circle and two rings.
In the center circle, pour cheesecake batter until it is nearly to the top of the insert. Add yellow food coloring to the remaining batter until you achieve the desired brightness of yellow. Pour this batter into the outer ring of the insert until it nearly to the top of the insert.
Finally, add more yellow and some red food coloring (no more than 3 drops of red!) into the remaining batter. Pour this batter into the middle insert. Do not remove the insert yet.
Create a water bath by putting warm water in the baking/roasting pan – no deeper than 1 inch. Place the spring form pan into the warm water so the batter will settle and be even. I did not do this…notice in the picture below that there are peaks and valleys in my batter? This created more of a diamond effect in the final cake appearance, instead of a circle. Leave your cake in the water for about 10 minutes to allow the batter to even out. Remove the insert quickly to prevent smudging or dripping.
Put the entire pan (including the water bath) into the oven. Bake for 45-60 min, depending on your oven. When the cake is finished it will wobble in the middle, but be firmish on the edges. For more information about how to know if your cake is finished – explore the links provided below.
After the cake is finished baking, leave in the oven for another hour, so the heat of the cake reduces with the oven heat, in the steam. All of this helps to prevent the top of the cake from cracking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool further, or place in the fridge. Remove the sides of the spring form pan when the cake has fully cooled.
Share with friends! Happy Fall!!!