This time last year I was putting the finishing touches on Mr. Incredible's X-Box 360 Halo Reach Edition birthday cake with matching cake controllers. (Read more about it here). With over 10,000 page views, it is still the most popular post on La Petit Brioche.
As Mr. Incredible's birthday grew near, I stressed about making a birthday cake that topped last year's. How could I out do the Xbox cake? I couldn't. Instead, I focused on the flavors that he loved and decided to combine two of his favorite desserts...cheesecake and pecan pie. The sweet, sticky pecan topping complemented the smoothness of the cheesecake base. It has become Mr. Incredible's new favorite dessert :) Happy Birthday, Mr. I!!!
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
In a saucepan combine butter, sugars, flour and milk and cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Take off the heat and whisk in a spoonful of melted butter sugar mixture into the beaten eggs. Whisk the tempered egg mixture back into the rest of the butter sugar mixture.
Put back on the stove and cook on low until mixture becomes very thick.
Take off the heat and add the pecans. Set aside until ready to top the cheesecake.
Junior's Famous Cheesecake
Ingredients for One 6-inch Sponge Cake Layer
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 extra-large eggs separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 6-inch spring form pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.
4. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry).
5. Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
6. Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan.
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, full fat variety, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
Directions for the Cream Cheese Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 6-inch spring form pan. Make the batter for the sponge cake as the recipe directs Evenly spread the batter on the bottom of the pan, and bake just until set and golden, about 10 minutes. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool (do not remove it from the pan).
2. While the cake cools, make the cream cheese filling: Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining package of cream cheese.
4. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the spring form pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour.
5. Take cooked pecan pie filling and spoon over the cheesecake. Bake cheesecake for an additional 10 minutes.
6. Remove cake from oven. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the spring form pan.