Benihana. Mandarin Orange Cheesecake
top secret recipes version of 
benihana mandarin orange cheesecake 
 
by todd wilbur 
 
this charismatic cheesecake is a specialty at the world's largest benihana 
restaurant located in the hilton hotel and casino in las vegas. but don't 
expect to find this amazing dessert on the menu at any of the other 76 
benihana eateries, since it's custom-made just for the sin city location 
and probably unlike any cheesecake you had. check it out: the lightly 
orange-flavored, fluffy cream cheese sits on layer of soft white cake; the 
edge is frosted and coated with crunchy hazelnut crumbs, and the top is 
covered with wedges of mandarin oranges in an orange-flavored gelatin. 
every element of this top secret kitchen clone -- published here for the 
first time -- is made from scratch, and the finished product is well worth 
the work you put in. for the cake layer, we whip up just enough of a 
simple white cake batter to fit into the bottom of a 9-inch springform 
pan. the cheese layer in our clone is created with a special custom 
combination of gelatin, dream whip and cream cheese so that no baking is 
required to firm it up. you could, of course, use a store-bought white 
frosting for the edge of the cake, but since you only need a small amount 
of frosting the clone recipe here makes it cheaper and with the same basic 
ingredients you'd get in the packaged stuff. the hazelnuts are candied 
with sugar and reduced to crumbs in a food processor (you can find a 
1/2-cup bag of chopped hazelnuts in most supermarkets that is perfect for 
this). and two 15-ounce cans of mandarin orange wedges is just the right 
amount for garnishing the top. just be sure to save 1/2-cup of the liquid 
from the cans of orange wedges to create the gel that holds the topping in 
place. 
 
  cake
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp  baking powder
pinch  of salt
2 Tbsp  butter, softened
1/4 cup  granulated sugar
2 Tbsp  milk
1/8 tsp  vanilla extract
1   egg
 
  cream cheese layer
1 envelope  unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup  granulated sugar
1 cup  boiling water
1 envelope  dream whip
1/2 cup  low-fat milk
3   8ounce pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp  vanilla extract
1/4 tsp  orange extract
1/4 tsp  lemon juice
5   drops yellow food coloring
1   drop red food coloring
 
  topping
2   15ounce cans mandarin oranges (in light syrup)
1 tsp  unflavored gelatin
 
  nut crust
1 Tbsp  water
2 Tbsp  granulated sugar
1/2 cup  chopped hazelnuts (2.25-ounce bag)
 
  icing
1/4 cup  shortening
1/2 cup  powdered sugar
1 Tbsp  milk
1/8 tsp  vanilla
 
to make cake layer, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. 
cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a medium bowl. 
add dry ingredients to the butter and mix well. mix in milk, vanilla and 1 
egg. pour into a well-greased 9-inch springform pan (or line it with 
parchment paper). slam pan down on the counter a few times to even out the 
batter. bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the 
cake is light brown on top. for the cream cheese layer, combine gelatin 
with 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. add boiling water and stir until 
gelatin is dissolved. set this aside. prepare dream whip by whipping 
together 1 envelope of dream whip and 1/2 cup milk with an electric mixer 
in another medium bowl. whip it good until the topping makes stiff peaks. 
 
in another bowl, whip the cream cheese with vanilla, orange extract, lemon 
juice and food coloring in a large bowl until smooth. slowly add the 
gelatin mixture while beating. add half (about 1 cup) of the dream whip to 
the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. pour this mixture over the 
cake layer in the springform pan. chill for 2 hours or until firm. pour 
all liquid except 1/2 cup from the cans of mandarin oranges wedges. heat 
the 1/2 cup liquid in the microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or 
until hot. dissolve 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin in the liquid. combine 
liquid with orange wedges and pour over the top of the firmed-up 
cheesecake that's still in the springform pan. chill the cake for at least 
2 more hours. 
 
for the crunchy nut crust, combine 1 tablespoon water with 2 tablespoons 
sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. when sugar is dissolved and 
liquid begins to boil, add the hazelnuts and stir until nuts are 
well-coated. stir often until the water has cooked off, then continue to 
stir until the sugar begins to caramelize and turn light brown . be 
careful not to burn the nuts. the nuts are done when they are light brown 
and glazed with candied sugar. pour the nuts onto a plate and let them 
cool completely. when the candied nuts are cool, chop them up in a food 
processor until they are the consistency of crumbs. make the icing by 
combining shortening with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. when mandarin 
orange gelatin has firmed up on top of the cake, remove the cake from the 
springform pan. use a spatula to spread the icing around the edge of the 
cake. press the hazelnut crumbs onto the icing around the edge of the cake 
(you've got more than enough hazelnut crumbs and much of it will fall off 
as you press it on the sides). chill the cake for at least another hour 
before serving. to serve, cut cake into 8 slices. 
(http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) 
 
makes 8 servings. 
 
 
 
-- 
(ID: 11466) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Sat, Aug 2, 2003


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