A Guest Post! A Cheesecake So Amazing The Title Doesn’t Fit.

This fancy and rich cheesecake is an eclectic take on the classic and all time favorite banana pudding. But it takes everything  to a decadent and ultra-impressive level. 

Caramelized Banana Pudding Cheesecake with Salted Cashew Praline - Vanilla Wafer Crust

Hi, guys!! I am SO excited that you are here! Even 4 years after this post was published, this amazing cheesecake still brings so many new faces here, and I just wanted to take a moment and say HI! I’m Jenni! This is truly an amazing cake, and perfect for this especial occasional when you need a show-stopping and ultra-decadent dessert! 

Let me introduce you to my friend Lisa! Lisa is the awesome author/baker/photographic genius behind the blog Parlsey, Sage, Desserts and Linedrives! I met her when I first signed up for the Daring Kitchen back in 2009, and I’ve kind of had a huge crush on her ever since. She’s super sweet, super funny, and everything she makes is just about spectacular. We became friends after the awesome opportunity of hosting a Daring Cooks Challenge together in which we made Cassoulet!  Ok, enough of my gushing, I have moving boxes to attend to! 

Hi everyone!  First let me start by saying that I’m absolutely thrilled and flattered to be guest posting for Jenni.  We go way back in blogging years, 2009 to be exact, via The Daring Kitchen.  I liked her the moment I first spoke with her, and love her blog..leading to us hosting a Daring Cooks challenge together – Cassoulet in December 2010, if any of you are members of the Daring Kitchen and remember that one – the one where I made two pots of Cassoulet because my computer crashed and I lost ALL of my photos from the first one.  Let’s just say, I ate so much Cassoulet in one month,  I could swear I was waddling when I walked.  Regardless, it was such a pleasure hosting the challenge with her!

Speaking of waddling, I have a very rich and decadent dessert for you.  It’s a Caramelized Banana Pudding Cheesecake with a Salted Cashew Praline – Vanilla Wafer crust – an eclectic take on your basic banana pudding with vanilla wafers. Technically, this crust does not contain any crushed cashew pralines, although those would work well too, but combining the candied, salted cashews, brown sugar and browned butter with the vanilla wafer crumbs, gives it a crunchy praline flavor and texture.

This is an uber creamy cheesecake, probably the creamiest I’ve ever had, so when you fold the caramelized bananas into the cheesecake batter, then bake in a water bath, it comes pretty close to a smooth, creamy banana pudding texture.

By the way, did you know you can split a banana into three equal strips by sticking a finger in one end of the banana and pushing into it?  You can see this in my collage in this post.  A really neat trick to have on hand when you want uniform chunks of banana.

How to split a banana for caramelized bananas - banana pudding cheesecake

Finally, when Jenni asked me to guest post for her back in March, (due to some worrisome and sad situations in my life, and Jenni’s move, it was postponed way too many times!) I really wanted to create something beautiful, unique and delectable.  Well, I conquered the latter two.  Some rainy, humid weather hit as I was preparing it, so when it came to the beautiful part, it was a complete failure.  I bruleed some banana slices to stick into luscious, fluffy mounds of whipped cream around the cheeesecake.  The whipped cream started to melt and slide off, even though the bananas had cooled down completely.

Caramelized Banana Pudding Cheesecake with a praline-vanilla wafer crust

I switched gears and decided to make a swiss meringue to pile on top and blast with my kitchen torch.  I know meringue doesn’t work well on rainy, muggy days, but I hoped the food gods would cut me a break.  I guess I used up all of my ‘break tickets’ because no dice.  I finally gave up and just stuck bruleed banana slices (which were starting to melt too) around the cheesecake and dubbed it ‘rustic’.  However, you can make it gorgeous, just avoid decorating on rainy, muggy days!

By the way, the first photo was straight from the freezer so I could get a clean slice for photos.  The second slice photo is as it should be, creamy and slightly gooey!

The most amazing cheesecake ever! It takes like an upscale banana pudding with cashews cashews and caramel!
Thanks so much for thinking of me for this guest post, Jenni!

Caramelized Banana Pudding Cheesecake with Salted Cashew Praline – Vanilla Wafer Crust

by The Gingered Whisk
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes
Ingredients (12 slices)

    Toasted, Salted Cashew Praline-Vanilla Wafer Crust

    • 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
    • 1 stick (4 oz) butter, melted and browned
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 cup cashew praline, chopped finely (recipe follows)

    Caramelized Banana Cheesecake Filling

    • 3 packages of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or the innards of 1 plump vanilla bean)
    • 1 tablespoon banana liqueur, optional – I didn’t use any, just giving you an option to enhance the banana flavor

    Caramelized bananas

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
    • 2 to 3 bananas, cut into chunks
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    Salted Cashew Praline

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
    • 1 cup salted cashews, toasted

    Toasted, Salted Cashew Praline-Vanilla Wafer Crust

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, cashew praline, and light brown sugar in a food processor with a few light pulses.
    Drizzle in melted brown butter and vanilla extract as you’re pulsing, until crust holds together slightly when squeezed.
    Press the crust on the bottom and up the side of a lightly buttered 9-inch springform pan, using the bottom and side of a small glass to really pack it in.
    Place in preheated oven and bake for 5 – 7 minutes.
    Remove and let cool.
    Do not turn oven off, keep it at 350F for baking the cheesecake.

    Caramelized Banana Cheesecake Filling

    Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.
    Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next.
    Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.
    Add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and liqeuer (if using) and blend until smooth and creamy.
    Gently fold in caramelized bananas.
    Wrap outside of springform pan, from the bottom up, in tin foil (this prevents water from seeping into the pan).
    Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface.
    Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
    Bake 70 minutes, until it is almost done – but jiggly in the center.
    Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake finish baking in the cooling oven for one hour.
    This prevents cracks in the cheesecake.
    After one hour is up, remove the cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath.
    Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill for several hours to overnight.
    Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
    Serve with your favorite caramel sauce, toffee bits, whipped cream, bruleed banana slices*..or just enjoy as is :).
    * To make bruleed banana slices..cut a banana into slices, any way you want. Sprinkle the cut sides, generously, with granulated sugar, and caramelize with a kitchen torch, or place on a lined sheet pan under the broiler, keeping a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

    Caramelized Bananas

    Heat a large heavy saute pan over medium heat, until hot, but not smoking.
    Sprinkle sugar around the pan and drizzle with corn syrup.
    Cook, without stirring, just gently shaking the pan if some areas are turning color quicker than other areas, until whole mixture turns a golden amber color, about 6-8 minutes.
    Stir in butter until smooth (caramel will sizzle), then add chopped bananas and cook until they’re caramelized but still slightly firm, about 4 -5 minutes.
    Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so the caramel doesn’t dry out, until cool and ready to fold into cheesecake batter.

    Salted Cashew Praline

    Heat a large heavy saute pan over medium heat, until hot, but not smoking. Sprinkle sugar around the pan and drizzle with corn syrup.
    Cook, without stirring, just gently shaking the pan if some areas are turning color quicker than other areas, until whole mixture turns a golden amber color, about 8 minutes.
    Remove from the heat and add cashews; stir until they’re completely coated.
    Cool on parchment lined pan.
    Store in an airtight container.
    Yield: about 1 1/3 cups cashew praline.
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  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Amazing guest post!!!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Lisa always does a good job! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    May 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Happy Anniversary!

    That cheesecake is stupendous! Terrific. A lovely guest post.



    • Reply
      May 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Thanks! 🙂 And thank you for stopping by, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    shelley c.
    May 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    That. Looks. Delicious. Can always count on Lisa for something mouthwatering! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      I know! I begged Lisa to mail me a piece, but she said she didn't think it would make it. I'm pretty sure she just ate it all… LOL

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Happy Anniversary, wishing you many more happy years together!
    This cheesecake is heavely

    • Reply
      May 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Thank you! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and taking a look! It does look wonderful, doesn't it? I want a piece!!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    This dessert is a work of art. INcredible!

  • Reply
    vanessalillian [Ness@theteensytinyinsignificantdetails]
    May 25, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Happy anniversary to you, Jenni, and to Lisa, that cheesecake looks soooooo good. I love how more and more cheesecake (and also cupcake) recipes are inspired by other foods, instead of just being plain ol' cheesecake. Yum!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby, Jenni! You make such a beautiful couple, along with your beautiful baby girl 🙂 With that said..thank yoiu so much again for thinking of me to guest post on your blog, which I've always loved. xoxo

  • Reply
    May 25, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Loved the photo of your wedding! You look stunning!

    congrats of four years!

    The cheesecake is amazing… very nice guest post!

  • Reply
    Cooking Rookie
    May 27, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Amazing cake and Happy Anniversary!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Stunning masterpiece!! What a wonderful cheesecake with the most amazing flavour combinations!! You really know how to pick your guest blogger! 😉

  • Reply
    Barbara Bakes
    May 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    This looks like a masterpiece. What a great flavor combination. Sinful indeed!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    OMG! This sounds so yummy and I hate bananas and banana pudding even more but my boyfriend loves both so I'm going to make this for him. Instead of the vanilla wafers for the crust, I think I'll try butter or shortbread cookies…..THANKS FOR A DELICIOUS LOOKING CHEESECAKE TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    Looks so good! Yum. I'm going to make this for Thanksgiving but with pecans.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Appreciate it for this tremendous post, I am glad I detected this site
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