First of all, sorry for the lack of posts. The last couple of weeks have been pretty tough at school. There isn't a lot of time for baking when there's homework to do, friends to see, going to the gym, etc. But now I'm on winter break, so there should be more time for holiday baking. We just got together our holiday cookie bags, so hopefully I can get a couple shots of those up soon.
We had a holiday party at my house for my mom's work group; I was asked to do a chocolate dessert. I hadn't made a cheesecake in a while, and I wanted to do something creamy. I've always thought coffee or espresso flavored cheesecakes were just the best. I'm definitely a fan of the plain with graham cracker crust, but it's not terribly exciting. I haven't made anything chocolaty in a while, so this was the perfect chance. Also, I don't have a ton of occasions where I get to make one big dessert for a lot of people, which was exciting.
I also got to use one of my favorite techniques: chocolate transfers. I think this technique adds a lot to the dessert's visual tastiness, without over-decorating it or making it look cheesy, in the style of grocery store cakes.
I hope everyone is baking and having a happy holidays!
Chocolate Cookie Crust
9 oz chocolate shortbread-type cookie
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a food processor until a coarse meal. Using fingers or a spoon, press into an even layer on the bottom of a 10" spring form pan, and however high up the sides you wish. Refrigerate while making the filling.
4- 8oz packages of cream cheese (organic, if you like), room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 tablespoons light molasses
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a stand mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and soft. Add sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the flour.
In a small bowl, mix together the vanilla extract, Kahlua, molasses, and instant espresso powder until everything is dissolved.
Pour into the chilled crust, and smooth out using a spatula.
Bake for around 40 minutes, but watch carefully after about 30 minutes. There should be cracks on the surface, and wiggle a little in the center when it is done.
Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes before removing from the pan, running a knife around the edges first. It will have sunk down a fair amount. Let cool for 1 hour.
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat cream until steam rises off it. Pour over chocolate and let sit without stirring for 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted.
Place cooled cheesecake back in its pan, and line the pan sides with acetate. Snap the pan closed. Pour ganache on top, and let drizzle down the sides if there is space between the cheesecake and the acetate.
Place in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.