Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake

It's been a while since my last post...mainly because I have been extremely busy with school, but also because I was trying to lay off the sweets a little bit.  That didn't last long.

This past weekend I made an Oreo cheesecake for no other reason than to cure the weeklong horrible mood I had been in (probably due to lack of refined sugar)!

1 package yellow cake mix with pudding
1 large egg
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 crushed Oreos

2-8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla*

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla*
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
12 crushed Oreos

*Use these measurements if you're like me and use imitation vanilla extract.  If you splurge on the real deal, go ahead and decrease this measurement by 1/2 a tsp!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare a 9 or 10" springform pan (I've had good luck with this one) by placing a piece of parchment paper over the base and locking it into place.  This makes clean up easier and prevents mishaps when you're trying to get your cheesecake out of the pan!

Make the crust first by setting aside 1 cup of the cake mix, which will later be used in the filling. Combine the remaining cake mix, egg, and melted butter in a medium sized mixing bowl and blend together with an electric mixer until all of the ingredients are smoothly combined.  Fold in the Oreos.  Pour the mixture into the springform pan and press it down to form an even crust on the bottom and 1 inch up the side of the pan.

Next, prepare the filling by placing the cream cheese and sugar in a medium sized bowl and blending with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the evaporated milk and vanilla and beat again for a few minutes--no lumps, people!!!  Pour the filling over the crust and spread it out with a spatula.  Place into the oven to bake for 1 hour.  I know it's tough, but try to avoid opening the oven door to check the status of your cheesecake, this could cause it to crack!  You will know the cheesecake is done if it is lightly browned, shiny, and BARELY jiggling in the center!  Like this...

Place the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool to room temperature for an hour.  Once it has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight (or a few hours if you're impatient like me).

To make the topping, pour the whipping cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixture on high for a couple of minutes, until the cream thickens.  Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks start to form.  Fold in the crushed Oreos.  Spread this topping over your cooled cheesecake and enjoy!