Ron Abidin arrived in Baton Rouge in the 1970's. He formed his very successful cheesecake company, "Dah Big Cheese", in the early 80's. His marriage of cheesecake with local ingredients inspired this creation.
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST:
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tbsp. melted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
Combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Drizzle melted butter into the mixture to moisten. Using your fingertips, press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a ten inch round spring form pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes or until crust is firm to the touch.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESECAKE:
- 1-1/2 lbs. cream cheese
- 1 cup chopped mandarins with juice
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. orange "hard-candy" flavoring
- 1/4 tsp. orange #6 food coloring
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese and heavy whipping cream. Blend well to remove all lumps from the cream cheese. This can be done in a blender or with a hand held mixer. Add one egg at a time, whipping completely before the next one is added. Continue until all is incorporated. Add sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip. Add the four flavorings and color, blending well after each is added. Fold in chopped pecans. Remove crust from the refrigerator and pour batter into the baking pan. Rotate pan until batter mixture flattens out. Place in preheated oven and bake approximately one hour or until firm to the touch. The cake may be topped with a sour cream topping made by combining one pound of sour cream, four tablespoons of sugar and one half teaspoon of vanilla. Blend all together well until creamy. Add to the top of the slightly cooled cheesecake and place in 400 degree oven for five minutes.