This cheesecake has roots in the United States, but after our BCM author Dorie made a few changes while living in Paris, it is now known in New York as the Paris Cheesecake.
The biggest changes are in the crust which is made from crushed spice cookies and almond flour rather than the traditional graham crackers. These cookie crumbs are also added into the filling. This is not a hard recipe to make, but it IS rather time consuming. It requires a 90 min bake time…another 60 min rest time in the oven…and then a 4hr+ chill time in the fridge. This is not a dessert to be rushed.
I am not a cheesecake fan so I had no idea what to expect. I sent it out to my first tasters and she got back to me and said her family thought:
- “it was better than Cheesecake Factory!! The crust was so good!”
I was like…whoa! Better than the Cheesecake Factory!? For those of you not in the US or familiar with this restaurant, they specialize in cheesecake…currently they have 34 flavors to choose from…I looked it up. You can see why I was like, whoa! So when my husband came home I told him what she said and he gave me that look like, really?? I could tell he was seriously doubting my friend on this particular assessment!
He tries it and says,
- “that is FANTASTIC!! She was totally right, better than Cheesecake Factory!!”
My parents had similar reactions saying it was delicious and that they loved the crust. I could not believe the rave reviews this cheesecake received. It is one of those recipes you would have to plan out the baking, but at least you would know it would be a winner. My husband was already trying to think of when I could make it again. 🙂
From our recipe intro I can read that Bettelman, meaning beggar in Alsatian is sometimes translated as bread pudding. Not only did I not know what “Bettelman” referred to, I also had to look up Alsatian to find out where this recipe would originate from. You can learn more from baking than one would think! Surprising to me, Alsatian can refer to a German Shepard dog, but in our case it is referring to the Alsace region of France where the people speak Alsatian.
Now that we have some context…we find out in our intro that although this is translated as bread pudding, it is unlike any bread pudding most anyone would recognize. It is described with a texture more like a cake.
This was a fun one. I had no prior experience making bread pudding or even eating it for that matter. I used challah bread that I had go stale for a few days and then soaked it and mashed it up in boiled milk. At this point I was thinking I may not like this one. 🙂 After some soaking time, egg yolks, sugar, cinammon, apples, and vanilla are added. I did not add the optional rum since I didn’t have any on hand, but I did add some extra vanilla to make up for the liquid difference. This is all mixed and then egg whites are whipped and folded gingerly into the mixture. We are told it is better to have whipped egg white showing than to thoroughly mix. That always makes me nervous that I may have too heavy of a hand, so I went ever so carefully.
That is it. Pour it into a deep pan and cook for about an hour at 400. It is suppose to puff and brown and turn slightly crusty. It smelled delicious while it was baking!
I think all of us were a little unsure what this would taste like….but excited at the same time. Everyone loved it saying it reminded them of a breakfast apple cake. I am not sure anyone would have been able to guess that the main ingredient was bread. It was great and I would totally make it again. What I love about this recipe is that you could make it the night before you needed to serve it for breakfast. I am not sure it is intended to have at breakfast, but that is what I would do. 🙂