I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date... (1. being the posting date of the DB Cheesecake and 2... well... you'll get the significance of 2 in a minute).
Once upon a time, I was dining at Market Table in NYC in honor of Jack's birthday. I rarely order dessert (I know, bad baker, support my people!) but since this was a special occassion, I went for it. I order Maida Heatter's Polka Dot Cheesecake.
1 3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 lbs cream cheese
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a large roasting pan with warm water and set aside.
Then, using the same procedure, squeeze out six balls around the rim. In order to space the six balls evenly, place the first one at twelve o’clock (straight up). The next at six o’clock (straight down). Then two on each side. Doing it this way, the chances are that the spacing will be quite even. The balls around the rim should be smaller than the one in the center, and they should not touch each other or the center ball. If you have some chocolate mixture left over add it to the center ball; if you still have some left over add a bit to each of the other balls.
The top of the cake will not be smooth and level now, but it will level itself during baking. When baked, the polka dot in the center will be about 2 ½ inches wide, the dots around the rim will be about 1 ½ inches wide.
Place the cake pan into the larger pan. Place it in the oven and pour hot water into the larger pan about 1 ½ inches deep. If the larger pan is aluminum, add about ½ tsp cream of tartar to prevent the water from discoloring the pan.)
Bake for 1 ½ hours. The top of the cake will still be come golden brown and it will feel dry to the touch but the cake will still be very soft inside (it will become firm when it has cooled and been refrigerated).
Lift the cake pan out of
the water and place it on a cake rack. Cool the cake in the pan for 2 ½ hours.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.