Eggnog is a spiced milk drink popular primarily in North America during the winter holiday season. Eggnog cheesecake mimics the drink's flavors in a standard cheesecake base. The recipe can be customized using different types of crust, stir-in ingredients, and glazes.
A standard eggnog drink recipe uses milk or cream, sugar, and eggs. Rum may be added to make the beverage alcoholic. Served either hot or cold, sprinkles of cinnamon or nutmeg on top of the liquid serves as a spiced garnish.
Cheesecake filling is made using cream cheese, milk, sugar, and eggs. Eggnog cheesecake can be made by substituting in prepared or purchased eggnog drink in place of the milk in the recipe. It is also possible to add the taste using an eggnog flavor extract. When using extract, the exact recipe of a regular cheesecake should be followed with two to three drops of extract added to the filling.
Stir-in ingredients can enhance an eggnog cheesecake. Potential seasonal additions include chopped nuts, candy cane bits, or pumpkin puree. The extras should be added to the filling slowly to test for taste and consistency.
A cheesecake crust is typically made using a crumbled cookie blended with a small amount of melted butter and optional sweetener, with graham crackers being the most common. A seasonal addition to an eggnog cheesecake would be a crust made with crumbled gingersnap cookies. The prepared crust ingredients should form a fine crumble that will easily shape to a springform pan before baking it for 10 to 15 minutes.
After the crust has been prepared, the eggnog filling should be carefully poured over it. The cheesecake is then placed back into the oven until the filling is cooked. Exact cooking times vary according to pan size and altitude, but one hour is typical.
An eggnog cheesecake is prepared for serving by removing the sides of the springform pan. The cheesecake is cut into even slices for serving either hot or cold. Avoid serving the cheesecake with eggnog drink as it would be an overkill of the same taste.
Finished eggnog cheesecake can be served plain, with whipped cream, or with a glaze. Cranberry or cinnamon glazes may pair well with the flavors of the eggnog. A cranberry glaze can be made by cooking fruit, juice, cornstarch, and sugar until the mixture thickens. Cinnamon glaze can be made with a combination of heavy cream, ground cinnamon, and confectioners' sugar.