- 2 cups ground vanilla wafers
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, let warm to near room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium Equal Exchange Organic Bananas
- 2 Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate bars, melted and cooled slightly
Crust prep: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry crust ingredients first to ensure good mixture, add in melted butter mixing with a fork until everything is moistened. Press mixture into a 10" springform pan, bringing a uniform thickness throughout and then up the walls. Bake on middle rack for 8-10 minutes. I place a cookie sheet 1 rack under in case of dripping. Leave oven on.
Filling prep:Place bananas on a foil lined cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 350F till the top turns almost black (about 10 minutes) take them out and turn them over and continue baking until that side also turns black (about another 10 minutes). When finished roasting, remove from oven, allow cooling.
While the bananas roast, beat the cream cheese blocks at low speed for about a minute just to break them up and cream them. Add in the vanilla and then gradually add sugar beating till creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in slowly. Peel roasted bananas and make sure to squeeze some of the rich banana oil from the skins before discarding them. Dice up any of the banana that remains solid. Make sure the bananas and oil are cool enough not to cook the eggs in the filling mixture and slowly add them and the oil to the mixture. A bit tricky is the next step. The chocolate needs to be hot enough to pour, and not too hot so it won't cook the eggs in the mixture. Slowly, drizzle chocolate into the mixture, preferably folding it into the mix. Pour filling mixture into the cooled spring form with the crust.
Place on middle rack of the oven (again keeping the extra cookie sheet 1 rack below) and bake for about 50-55 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center. It should come out clean when cheesecake is done. When done, cool on a cooling rack well away from the heat of the oven. When cooled, carefully remove spring rim and refrigerate the cheesecake for about an hour. Some of the dark chocolate can be retained and re-melted, then drizzled on top of the cheesecake.
Contributed by Eugene Hasse, Woods Cross, UT