Coney Island Cheesecake
Cheesecakes never go out of style or demand. Doesn’t matter what the current diet fad is or the season, cheesecakes are always popular. And as they lend themselves to tweaking and reinvention, versions abound…but we bet you have never seen one like this! Rosie Alyea has used animal crackers and sugar cones for the crust (nothing tastes like ‘em!) and cotton candy flavors to bring us this fanciful creation. Wait till you read about her use of an oven-baking bag – the kind you use for roast turkey! Really Smart! Tread lightly with the food coloring; you want a pastel look for best results. This recipe and the Chalk-A-Lot Cookies with Edible Chalk are from her book The Sweetapolita Bakebook.
Reprinted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate. Copyright © 2015 by Rosie Alyea. Photos by Rosie Alyea. Property of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. by Rosie Alyea. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2015.
Here, I’ve taken a classic baked cheesecake and added some carnival style. Rich, creamy confetti-flecked cheesecake is baked into a buttery crumb crust made with a combination of animal crackers, sugar cones, and peanuts, all topped with a pastel blue and pink cotton candy whipped cream and more sprinkles. This is one seriously velvety and gloriously smooth and dense baked cheesecake, and it can be easily modified to represent a more traditional baked cheesecake.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 oven bag (see Note)
2 pastry bags
2 decorating tips #1E
Author’s Note: I prefer using an oven bag—the ones typically used for cooking a turkey— as opposed to foil because it guarantees that no water from the water bath leaks in from the bottom of the pan.
- 2 cups (130 g) store-bought animal crackers
- 2 standard waffle cones or sugar cones (40 g)
- 2 tablespoons salted roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry milk powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 5 (8-oz/225 g) packages cream cheese, room temperature and cut into pieces
- 1¼ cups (260 g) superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (115 g) sour cream, room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vanilla ice cream, melted
- 1 tablespoon Princess Bakery Emulsion (see Note, page 148) or pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup (75 g) confetti quin sprinkles, plus more for decorating
- 1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream, cold
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cotton candy oil (I use LorAnn Oils)
- Drop of AmeriColor gel paste food color in Sky Blue and
- Soft Pink (or other desired colors)
- Fill a roasting pan with about 1 inch of warm water and put it in the oven on the center rack. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.
- For the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the animal crackers, waffle cones, peanuts, sugar, dry milk, and salt until they become coarse crumbs. Add the butter and pulse to combine.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan, coming up the sides about 1 inch all around. Set aside.
- For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes (do not over-beat). Add the sugar, flour, sour cream, ice cream, emulsion, and salt and beat for about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Strain the batter into a large bowl, using a rubber spatula to help push it through the sieve. Fold in the confetti quins.
- Pour the filling into the crust. Slide the cheesecake into the oven bag and secure the top of the bag loosely. Put the bag with the cheesecake into the roasting pan of hot water, and put the pan into the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven until the center reaches 150°–155°F, about 20 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan, discard the oven bag, and run a small knife around the edges of the crust. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- For the whipped cream: Put the stainless steel mixer bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Beat the cream, sugar, and cotton candy oil on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Divide the whipped cream evenly between two medium bowls and tint one half pastel blue and other half pastel pink. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
- Carefully remove the outer ring of the springform pan and transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter or plate. When ready to serve the cheesecake, fit each pastry bag with the decorating tip and fill each bag with the colored whipped cream. Pipe large stars on top of the cheesecake, alternating between pink and blue. Sprinkle a generous handful of quins on top, and serve.
- The cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Author’s Note and Variation:
- For a flawless cheesecake, be sure to use room-temperature ingredients, do not over-mix, and do not over-bake. Straining the batter can be a little messy, but it makes for an even more velvety texture. A water bath is a must for adding moisture to the oven, which results in a gloriously smooth cheesecake.
- Classic New York Cheesecake: Replace the carnival crust with 2½ cups (215 g) graham cracker crumbs mixed with ½ cup (115 g) melted unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the filling and omit the sprinkles and cotton candy whipped cream.