Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Banana~Split Cheesecake

As I looked around my kitchen for inspiration for what to bake...I espied a couple of bananas hanging from the wooden rack.  I frowned.  I didn't feel like banana bread or muffins, but if I've learned anything from my mother, it is, "you don't throw anything out."

Literally, I've made every kind of banana bread combinations known to bakers, Bundt cakes, pudding and cupcakes, so what's left?  Well, I thought...I've never made a cheesecake and, now I had a plan.  However, I soon realized from the start that I didn't have graham cracker crumbs and had to substitute a package of Biscoff cookies that I did have. (You could have also use Nabisco Vanilla Wafers.)  I had so many ideas of what could go with a banana cheesecake--salted caramel, chocolate chips, peanut butter; the list goes on, but I had just bought a flat of California strawberries and decided on a take of a banana split.

Admittedly, I had ice cream on the brain since my sister and I had just reminisced how my mother loved to go to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Springfield, Virginia, and order a triple hot fudge sundae--one of her favorite desserts.  In my final presentation, I had to add hot fudge in memory of my mother ;-)

Banana~Split Cheesecake
8.8 oz. bag Biscoff cookies
2 T granulated sugar
7 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. Spray a spring form pan with a non-stick baking spray and line with a parchment round--makes for ease of presentation.
Place Biscoff cookies in a food processor and crush to fine crumbs.  You may need to use the pulse button to achieve an even crumb.
You should have about 2 cups of crumbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix.  Press crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan on the bottom and about 1 1/2-2 inches up on the sides.
Bake in the preheat oven about 9 minutes. I wrapped aluminum foil on the bottom and also placed the pan on a another baking sheet.  Remove and place on a rack to cool while you prepare the cheesecake.  Turn the oven down to 325F-degrees.

Cheesecake filling:
4- 8oz. pkg. Cream Cheese
2 T flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 medium bananas, peeled and mashed (should have about 1 cup puree)

1 T Vanilla + 1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tsp. Banana Flavor
4 large eggs

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and no lumps remaining.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixture on medium to slowly add the sugar and the flour.  Scrape the sides again.  Add the vanilla, vanilla bean and banana flavoring and mix on medium once more.  Finally, turn on the mixer and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl and remove the paddle attachment.

Pour into the 9-inch spring form and place on the middle rack of the oven.  Place a baking pan on the bottom shelf and add 1-inch of boiling water.  This method helps ensure your cheesecake doesn't crack in the middle.

 Bake 65 to 75 minutes until the center doesn't jiggle.  Turn oven off and crack the oven.  Let cool for about 30 minutes, then, remove to a baking rack to cool completely to room temperature.  Cover and let cheesecake chill for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.  At this point, you could also freeze it for later.
Pineapple Topping:
1 20oz. can of Pineapple tidbits in juice, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup Turbinado sugar
1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped

In a saute pan, on medium heat, place the sugar in the pan.  As it starts to melt, add the pineapple and vanilla, making sure to add in the scraped bean as well. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low and let the mixture cook for 30 minutes until a golden brown color occurs.  Remove the vanilla bean and transfer to a dish--refrigerate to cool.

Strawberry Topping:
2 pints of fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup Turbinado sugar
1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 T cornstarch

Repeat the method as in the Pineapple Topping.  The strawberries will release more juice, so you need to make a roux to thicken.  I mixed cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and blended to a smooth mixture.  Add to the strawberry mixture and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean and transfer to a bowl to cool.
The hot fudge sauce I made comes from the Serendipity Sundaes book by Stephen Bruce with Sarah Key--it's one of my favorites because it doesn't have corn syrup in it which has anti-setting properties.

Fabulous Hot Fudge Sauce:

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
4 T unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or use chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light cream
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Combine the first six ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Add the vanilla and stir again.  Serve immediately or microwave 20 seconds to heat.

To assemble:
I spooned the pineapple topping in the center of the cheesecake and surrounded it with the strawberry topping.  I chilled the cheesecake once more for about 1 hour.
To plate:  I placed a ring of hot fudge around the dessert dish, then, cut a slice of cheesecake to placed it in the center.  Finally, a piping of fresh whipped cream on top finishes off the Banana~Split!

My mother would have asked for triple hot fudge with her cheesecake..."because you can never have too much chocolate." Enjoy! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  My hubby brought me pink roses, which my cat enjoyed as much as I did.  LOL!



  1. That is right up my alley! I especially like how you substituted for the graham cracker crumbs. We lived 45 miles from the nearest town when I grew up and substitutions were a part of life. Glad you swung by the porch tonight. I think it would be best to sit inside for awhile:)

    1. I agree...with a big cat roaming around!

  2. Okay! So, I had to STOPPED when I got to the part about Farrell's in Springfield...I can barely type this...Did you live there, Susan? I did! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the hot fudge nutty nutty, my friend. When we moved back to CA, there was only one in Sacramento, but it was the first place my folks took us. Oh, I cannot believe this! Okay, I have to go to work, but OMG! Lv, Ellen

    1. When we moved to California, there was one in the San Fernando Valley, but closed about a year later. A great place for ice cream concoctions! We lived in Maryland, but Springfield Mall was literally a hop, jump and skip away--one of our favorite malls to go to.

  3. Susan, I have been waiting patiently since we talked to see this wonderful creation!! Mom would be overjoyed! Cheesecake is my all time dessert and I can't wait to try this one!! Hugs, Barb

  4. Susan! this sounds really good. i don't have a spring pan .... will it work in a regular pan? maybe a glass one? i have glass ones then just leave it in there to serve.
    stamping sue

  5. I've baked cheesecake in a 13" x 9" pan before and served it in "squares." You'll have to adjust the time in the oven because it won't be as deep and you'll probably use all of the topping (I had some leftover). I say...Go For It!

  6. I had to laugh when I saw your cat up on the table near the roses, I had a cat that would do the same thing, thanks for the chuckle.