needless to say, i buy bananas in bulk. whenever i'm at the store, i pick up a bunch. i can't keep them in stock in my house. this past week, though, the bunch that i bought seemed to ripen really quickly. they were solid brown before i knew it. what do i do with all these bananas? wait a few more days until the weekend and make banana pancakes for the boys? i can't, the smell of overly ripe bananas makes me gag. another loaf of banana bread? nah. seems to elementary. a banana cake? hmmm, now we're getting somewhere. banana cheesecake? bingo! i may not be a fan of bananas, but the one thing i am a fan of, is cheesecake!
i instantly googled banana cheesecake recipes and stumbled across a version of the one below from one of my favorite food blogs, vanilla sugar blog. it called for a topping of caramel rum sauce, which sounds amazing, but i just didn't have the time to make it. instead i bought the caramel sauce for sundaes and drizzled that on top. it was fabulous. my father in law, who is very particular about "his cheesecake" told me i should package it up and sell it.
mama says: also bought in bulk in my house are graham crackers for my son. instead of using graham cracker crumbs, i coarsely ground whole graham crackers. the thick chunks of graham crackers mixed in with some fine crumbs was divine.
along with the store bought caramel sauce, i cut a banana in thick chunks and placed it on top. oh, and of course, some homemade whipped cream.
mama's drink: uh, hello?!? bailey's irish cream! or any coffee based drink will do too.
from Vanilla Sugar Blog
INGREDIENTS for CHEESECAKE
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
4 mashed bananas, really ripe
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. fresh lemon juice
INGREDIENTS for CRUST
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 T. dark brown sugar (i used light brown sugar and it tasted fine)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
a pinch of kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan.
2. In a small bowl, mash the ripe bananas and sprinkle the teaspoon of lemon juice on top of them.
3. Mix all ingredients for the crust in the bottom of springform pan. Firmly pat the ingredients into the bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Then add bananas and vanilla extract. Mix well.
5. Pour into crust. Bake for 1 hour or until center is not jiggly.
6. Cool in oven for 1-2 hours. Remove from oven. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.