I need to make an elephant ear cheesecake for a benefit auction this week. I was going to use cinnamon graham crackers for the crust and a cream cheese filling flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. I'm also going to make a cinnamon flavored cookie dough and drop small dough balls into the cheesecake batter. I have done similar cheesecakes using this technique with great success. I'm stumped as to what to top the cheesecake with for decorations. I've been thinking about spreading a whipped cinnamon and sugar butter on top of the cheesecake with some cinnamon sticks for added decorations. I'm not sure if I dare make mini elephant ears to use as a decoration. I'm afraid the elephant ears would become soggy and not very edible. I'm not sure of a good crumble topping I could use that would stay crunchy either. Any suggestions for a good topping are appreciated.
A poured chocolate ganache would do this cake justice. You could use cinnamon in the cream. Then some cinnamon sticks or chocolate cigarettes to garnish.
There is nothing added by making every element over the top: The fancy filling does not need a fancy top. People might worry about how they can get the fancy thing home. I used to donate two kinds of raffle cakes: plain layer cake with nice flowers on top, or fancy filled cake with simple garnish. Make sure you add a sheet with storage and cutting directions if there should be some.
Never would have thought of doing a ganache. I had a thought about doing an apple cinnamon topping. I want to make sure the cinnamon and sugary flavors of an elephant ear are in the cheesecake. A ganache could be a wonderful added element. I may test some fried pie dough triangles sprinkled in cinnamon and sugar.
If you want to make the elephant ears the pastry note, then I would skip the cookie dough inside. Use a swirl of cinnamon pastry filling in the cheesecake.
You can infuse the cream with broken cinnamon sticks for a good hour. That can be used for the cake and the ganache. The ganache will keep the elephant ears mostly waterproof from the cheesecake.
And maybe you will paint the elephant ears' undersides with a film of chocolate to add more waterproofing? The ganache will camouflage that extra film.
I first intended doing a cinnamon swirl but I had second thoughts that it would be overpowering. I was hoping the dough balls would better mimic the flavors of an elephant ear than a cinnamon swirl. I wish I had time to test a few ideas for this cheesecake. I think either way I go, it will turn out wonderfully delicious. I love the idea of painting the bottoms of the mini elephant ears in ganache. Whenever I eat elephant ears from a carnival stand, there is always a certain amount of doughiness so I guess I shouldn't be too concerned if the mini ears aren't totally crisp. The ganache would to a good job of masking that potential flaw. I put a lot into these cheesecakes I auction. Some have sold for over $200 and many others for over $100. You'll have to pardon my in depth research. HAHAHAHA
Sorry to be confusing. I was taught to paint baked pastry with melted chocolate to waterproof it--not ganache.
Maybe you could make the cinnamon swirl milder by using plain vanilla cheesecake batter and some of it mixed with the cinnamon paste? But if your customers are expecting the no-holds-barred donation, then you should do as you know best.
I did my "market research" at home using my little brothers when they were teenagers playing multiple sports. They would gobble anything and make disparaging remarks (of course). Both being budding engineers they could describe very clearly what they wanted.
HAHAHAHA........ I was going to use straight chocolate. I was trying to be sensitive to your wisdom thinking you ment chocolate and not ganache. As for the swirl, I was thinking of piping a cinnamon flavored cream cheese filling in a swirl onto the cheesecake base. Would you do anything different with the crust besides the graham crackers? I'm not sure if a bread dough base would turn out unless I bake it separately and transfer the cheesecake on top of it. The graham cracker crust may work best and it won't take away from the cheesecake. Thanks for your help. BTW, when I make brownie turtle cheesecakes, I use brownies for the crust but I always bake it separate from the cheesecake and then transfer the cheesecake on top of the brownie crust. That's the only way I've been able to make sure the brownies are baked all the way through. Turns out great every time.
I think your graham crust is right on.
I would add half my vanilla filling, then swirl the cinnamon, then the rest of the vanilla. But that's without the cookie balls.
Raw cookie dough for cheesecake sides--yes and you bake the bottom halfway. Brownies are a different animal for sure. I add them cut up where you add cookie dough balls.
Bread dough--sure, if you are making parmesan cheesecake with sundried tomatoes and pesto swirl (no sugar). You fill it only 1" deep so that the raw bread dough crust will cook properly. Fill and bake without proofing. Pine nuts on top...great party food.
I have zero to add except I have never heard of an "Elephant Ear Cheesecake" but I now want one right. this. very. minute.
Where does one normally buy such a thing??? Is it southern dessert? Midwest? East Coast?
Elephant Ear Cheesecake is baker's night out--no customer to interfere with the creative genius. When you donate a fundraising item, you get to do it right.
I had pulled a Maida Heatter book off the shelf recently--the one that has the chocolate balls cheesecake. Her books are not mentioned much here but she developed her best recipes for a restaurant.
I decided that this forum was a lot more fun than the local news where some monster shot up a person in broad daylight in Little Italy during the Italy-Ireland soccer game. Until now the competing teams have made loud honking parades with huge flags plastered to their cars, and sometimes closed off busy streets in Toronto--lots of noisy fun. You could tell which team won from the direction of the loud cheering.
Now we have had this spate of public executions and it hasn't even been hot yet. God help us all.
Is this a famous recipe or are you trying to emulate the taste of an elephant ear?
I've had success putting real pastry in cheesecakes. Why not just use chunks of the real thing with some cinnamon in the batter. Topping... more chunks of elephant ears. The pieces in the batter will get softer while the ones on top will stay crisp. We have two bakeries that make excellent elephant ears, long standing recipes that would take me too long to be just as good and maybe never better. I wouldn't eve make them myself.
I'm attempting to mimic the taste of an elephant ear in a cheesecake. I don't have a recipe and I rarely use them when making cheesecakes. A friend of a friend recently passed away. He owned and operated carnival food trailers and was know for his elephant ears. I was asked to create a cheesecake and auction it to help raise money for his family. I put it to a vote and an elephant ear cheesecake was the winner. My only hang up was whether to put real elephant ears in the batter or on top of the cheesecake or create something with similar flavors. I'm little leery the elephant ears would become too soggy inside and on top of the cheesecake. That's why I'm milling over the idea of the cinnamon and sugar dough balls. Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.
In two of my recipes, one puts a whole pecan pie in a brownie batter and the other actually puts it in cheesecake. The pieces are cut in about 1 inch squares and left intact (I freeze the squares so that they don't disappear in the batter). In both recipes, the crust is the best part. That was why I suggested the chunks folded in the batter. Of course, they meld with the batter a little, but the taste is authentic. The broken up pieces on top of the cheesecake will not get soggy unless you press them into the top too much.
Would coarse granulated sugar hold up without dissolving on top of a cheesecake and if so, for how long? This is for another idea I have for a differant cheesecake.
Are you thinking of that very coarse sugar that is about 1/8" that is made specifically for decorating baked goods?