Sunday, January 31, 2016

Brandy Alexander Cheesecake: Brandy Alexander Day

Brideshead Revisited: Brandy Alexander
Today is Brandy Alexander Day. A Brandy Alexander is a cocktail made with brandy, chocolate liqueur, and cream. There are many rumors about its origins. Some sources say it was created at the time of the London wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922. Drama critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott claimed that it was named after him. Other sources say it was named after the Russian Tsar Alexander. According to historian Barry Popik, Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector's, a New York City restaurant, created the drink in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow, a character in a popular advertising campaign in the early 20th century.

I've posted many recipes for Brandy Alexanders--cocktails, brownies and Brandy Alexander Pie, but today I'm posting a recipe for Brandy Alexander Cheesecake. Be sure to scroll down. And for the TV addicts out there, here's a list of the Brandy Alexander as it appeared on different TV series.

The Brandy Alexander on Television (from Wikipedia)

The character Raj Koothrappali orders a brandy Alexander in "The Hofstadter Isotope" episode of The Big Bang Theory, after being mocked for ordering first a grasshopper and then a chocolate Martini.
In season one episode nine of Cheers, while Carla is in charge of the bar, she is asked to make a brandy Alexander.
In the Fantasy Island episode entitled "Anniversary", Cap Truman (Jim Backus) rushes outside with his butler to greet Tom (Ronny Cox) and Toni Elgin (Lucie Arnaz) with brandy Alexanders, just as he had done eight years before, the day before their wedding.
In season one episode eleven of Mad Men, Peggy Olson expresses disappointment with her Brandy Alexander while on a blind date.
The drink was included as the Cocktail Moment on the 29 March 2013 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show.
Lance White's hypnotist friend in "Nice Guys Finish Dead", an episode of The Rockford Files, is named after the drink.
 In the pilot episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Richards asks for a brandy Alexander at her first job interview.
In season four episode twenty-three of Chuck, "Big Mike" orders a Brandy Alexander at a wedding rehearsal dinner.
In episode one of Brideshead Revisited, Anthony Blanche orders four Brandy Alexanders in a bar: two for himself and two for Charles Ryder.
In season one episode three of Dilbert, Lena Olsen asks Dilbert to make a "Triple Brandy Alexander with an Easter Island sunset chaser" as a way of keeping him occupied while she searches his house.
In season three, episode 16 of Three's Company, a woman orders a brandy Alexander from Mr Roper. He responds, "You don't want to drink that junk. Try some bourbon. It's fresh."
In season four, episode five of American Horror Story, the Strongman Del (Michael Chiklis) orders two Brandy Alexanders at a gay bar for his paramour Andy (played by Matt Bomer).
In the Season 2 episode of Lou Grant, called "Schools", Lou asks the bartender for a "malt." When the bartender admits to not knowing how to make a malt, Lou asks, "Do you know how to make a brandy Alexander? Just leave out the brandy and give us the Alexander!"
In the TV movies "A Town Without Christmas" and "When Angels Come to Town", the Brandy Alexander is the preferred drink of the angel Max (Peter Falk).

Brandy Alexander Cheesecake
recipe adapted from Southern Living

1 (10-ounce) box chocolate graham crackers, crushed (about 2 1/4 cups)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar, divided
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 Tbsp Brandy, divided 4 tablespoons Kahlua, divided (you can use Creme de Cacao instead)
1 (16 ounces) container sour cream
Optional: Garnishes: blackberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries

Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together crushed graham crackers, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Press mixture on bottom and halfway up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Freeze 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and cornstarch at medium speed with electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add 3 Tbsp brandy and 3 Tbsp Kahlua, and beat just until blended. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour or just until center is almost set.
During last 2 minutes of baking, stir together sour cream and remaining 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp brandy, and 1 Tbsp Kahlua (or crème de cacao).
Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Bake at 325° for 8 more minutes.
Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife along outer edge of cheesecake, and cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours).
Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Remove sides of springform pan, and place cheesecake on serving plate.
Garnish, if desired.

No comments: