2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113g) butter or margarine, melted
1 envelope (1/4 ounce/7 grams) unflavored gelatine
1/2 cup cold water
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese (24 ounces total), softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 small (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/3 cup almond-flavored liqueur (such as Amaretto liqueur), or 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped, divided
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted* (See Note Below on Toasting Sliced Almonds)
Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter (or margarine, if using). Press firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Sprinkle gelatine over cold water in small saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Cook on low heat 3 minutes or until gelatine is completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Gradually add evaporated milk, beating on medium-high speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Blend in liqueur, lemon juice and vanilla. Gradually add gelatine mixture, mixing on low speed until well blended. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate the remaining whipped cream for later use for topping.
Pour cheesecake batter into crust. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Top with remaining whipped cream and the toasted sliced almonds just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
Makes 12-16 servings.
For an attractive presentation, pipe the remaining whipped cream (that was reserved for topping) onto edges of cheesecake, making rosettes, and pipe a large rosette in the center of cheesecake, and place a sliced almond in front of each rosette and place a few sliced almonds on top of center rosette, or simply sprinkle sliced almonds completely over top of cheesecake.
Toasting Sliced Almonds
Spread sliced almonds on a baking sheet and and place in a 350 degree F (180 C) oven for 2-3 minutes. Shake pan once while toasting for even browning. Do not leave sliced almonds too long in oven as they can burn quite easily leaving a bitter taste. When you start smelling almonds toasting, remove from oven immediately. Toasted sliced almonds should be a light golden color, not brown.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2005
Date: September 21, 2005