Monday, November 28, 2011

Rainbow Cheesecake

Rainbow Cheesecake
My husband StumbledUpon a picture of a rainbow cake one day, and I thought it was so gorgeous that I immediately started thinking of other baked goods that would look good in rainbow colors.  The cheesecake was one of the first things I thought of, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out.  
Since then I've seen other pictures of "rainbow cheesecakes," but they don't do justice to the name.  To me, a rainbow needs to be vibrant, not pastel, and I think you can see that this cheesecake fits the bill.  To get this kind of color, I don't think you can use the Cake Mate colors you get at the grocery store.  You're going to have to go to a hobby store like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, or Michaels and get some real gel paste food color, like the ones pictured below from AmeriColor.  It's worth the trip.  Price-wise, the gel paste doesn't cost too much: $1.75/bottle.  If you mix your own colors, you only need to buy three.  I recommend buying purple though, because I have yet to mix a pretty purple on my own.  
This cheesecake is not only pretty, but it's tasty too.  The picture at the top is my second whole rainbow cheesecake, and I decided to try smoothing out the colors after each addition.  I think I like the bumpy look of my first attempt pictured below.  In that case I just squeezed the color evenly over the bottom layer and left it unsmoothed before adding the next layer.  
I've also made an American flag version of this cheesecake too using this technique, for my brother-in-law's citizenship celebration. Either way, it's a fun and tasty cheesecake.

Rainbow Cheesecake

Prepare one day in advance and refrigerate overnight for best results.
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Crust:           
  • 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
Mix together and put in bottom of a 9" spring form pan that's been lined on the bottom with a parchment circle. *I like to crush my graham crackers in a zip top bag.  I use a rolling pin to crush them.  Then I mix the sugar into the crumbs in the bag and then the melted butter.  I squish it all around with my hands and pour it into the pan.  Saves washing one more bowl.
If you don't have a plastic roasting bag to use for this, you will want to cover the bottom of the pan with 2-3 layers of heavy duty foil to keep the water out from the water bath you will use during baking.

Filling: 
  •   4 8oz. cream cheeses @ room temperature
  •   4 eggs @ room temperature
  •   2 tsp. vanilla
  •   1 cup sugar
  •   1/2 cup heavy cream
  •   1/2 cup sour cream
  •    blue, yellow, red, and purple gel food coloring
Topping:
  •  8 oz. sour cream
  •  2 T sugar
  •  1/2 tsp. vanilla 
Mix together while cheesecake bakes.


Making the Cheesecake:

Cream cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.  Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  Stir in heavy cream until incorporated.

Set six unzipped sandwich sized zip top baggies in six small cups.  Place a 1/2 cup of batter into each baggie.  Pour the remaining batter into a gallon sized zip top baggie—this will remain white.

AmeriColor makes GREAT gel food color.
 
Batter colors mixed & ready to go

Three layers down; 9 to go.
Mix batter with food coloring to produce one baggie each for the following colors: blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and purple.  Start with two or three drops of color and gently squish around with your hand.  Add more food coloring if necessary.  Zip tops when done mixing colors in.

Start with the baggie of plain white batter.  Cut about 1/4 inch off one of the corners of the baggie and “pipe” in enough to just cover the crust in the bottom of the pan.  Carefully set bag aside with the cut tip pointing upward and the "top" tightly zipped.   Next, cut 1/4 inch off the green, and pipe squiggled lines all over the top of the white batter.  Try to cover the white as much as possible, but know that there will still be some white patches left.  Pipe on a layer of white, and this time, try to cover as much of the green as possible while still making sure there's enough white for all the other layers. Then pipe with blue, and so on, alternating colors with the white until you’ve used all the colors in the rainbow pattern.  Hopefully you’ll have enough white left for a final layer of white on top.

Place the pan in a large plastic roasting bag (like the ones used for turkeys), and then place that in a large roasting pan and pour in very hot water to reach half way up the pan sides, being careful not to splash water onto cheesecake.

Bake at 350° for about 60 minutes or until cheesecake has risen and center is set.  Remove from oven and pour sour cream topping mixture on top and smooth out.  Return cheesecake to oven for another 5-10 minutes.

As soon as you take pan out of the oven, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release the cheesecake from the sides.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Refrigerate overnight.
Rainbow Cheesecake my first try.  This was made in a 9" pan.

5 comments:

  1. This is RAD!!!!! Either picture is great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bethany! I love to look at this cheesecake too. :)

      Delete
  3. Looks great, guess I'll try this. It will be a surprise to those who gets it served. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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