Although we don't have them all, we do have our fair share of chain restaurants - the good, the bad, and the ugly. If I am going to visit one my choice is The Cheesecake Factory, even though the wait can sometimes be 1 to 1½ hours. Of course it isn't for the faint-hearted as their meals can be enough to feed a small army. I usually try to stick to a salad (the Seared Tuna Tataki Salad is very good) but not because I am being particularly "good". I really do this so that I have room to have a piece of cheesecake. Of course these servings are huge too, so we share. There is usually some discussion before we settle on the Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake (we always do).
When my daughters' 18th birthday was coming up I asked her what kind of cake she would like and she really wanted a cheesecake. She usually picks a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake so I was surprised that she changed her mind and decided upon a Banana Cream Cheesecake. I thought it would be a good time to try a clone recipe of the one from The Cheesecake Factory. After a quick search I found one that looked really good at Epicurious.
I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe. Out went the margarine and in came butter for the crust. Also, instead of using vanilla sandwich cookies I decided to use chocolate sandwich cookies because I like chocolate and banana together. For the filling I used regular Cavendish bananas but for the decoration on top I used Apple bananas because I love their firmness and color. As I always do with cheesecakes I wrapped the removable bottom of the spring-form pan with non-stick aluminum foil as this makes plating the cheesecake a breeze.
This was definitely a winner. It was like eating a banana cream pie in cheesecake form. The birthday girl was super happy and the cheesecake didn't last long. Just the way I like it.
The Cheesecake Factory Banana Cream Cheesecake
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup mashed bananas (about 2)
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- additional bananas and whipped cream for decoration, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place cookies in a blender; process with on/off pulse until finely crushed.
- Add butter and continue to process with pulses until blended.
- Press crumb mixture onto bottom of 10" springform pan and refrigerate.
- Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.
- Add sugar and cornstarch and beat until blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla.
- Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.
- Place pan on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 200°F (DO NOT forget to reduce temperature - very important) and continue baking 75 minutes or until center is almost set.
- Loosen edge of cheesecake; cool completely on wire rack before removing rim of pan.
- Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight.
- Allow cheesecake to stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
- Decorate top with sliced bananas and whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe submitted to Epicurious by janewayne31.