February 15, 2009

Chocolate Cheesecake

Whenever I have the opportunity to make dessert for a special occasion I usually end up making a cheesecake.  The first one I ever made was a double-layered one for either Thanksgiving or Christmas my senior year of high school.  It was a layer of pumpkin cheesecake topped with a layer of chocolate cake and covered in chocolate ganache.  I don't think I'd ever eaten cheesecake before I made it - I was just really excited by the idea of a cake made with cream cheese.  My rather ambitious start into making cheesecake has changed my dessert-eating life forever.  

With yesterday being Valentine's Day, I of course wanted to make a cheesecake for dessert.  I came up with this grand plan of making a whole cheesecake, cutting out heart-shaped pieces, stacking them to make individual layer cakes, and covering them with ganache.  Instead I got sick, slept a lot, made a somewhat disastrous Valentine's dinner, and made the simplest cheesecake I could.  Fortunately, cheesecake makes everything better, and even in its less grandiose form it was the best part of the meal.  

For the full recipe, click here.  FYI - I skipped the topping part.  

Start by grinding 24 chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor.  

Add 1 tablespoon sugar and blend.

Add 1/4 cup melted butter and blend well.  At this point of my Sutafed-and-Ibuprofen-induced haze I decided to stop taking pictures of the process.

Two minutes later I decided to resume the picture-taking.  Once the butter/sugar/cookie mixture is combined, press it all into a buttered 9" springform pan, and bake it at 350 for about 5 minutes.  Set it aside while you work on the filling, but keep the oven on.  

If you realize that a recipe calls for 9.7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and you have 8 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips but no scale, what to do you do?  Line them up!  You can do a little side-by-side estimate of how many chocolate chips equal 9.7 ounces, and you're good to go.  

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water until smooth, and give it a little stir every so often so it doesn't burn.  

Ohhh, almost there.

Molten chocolate!  When it looks like this take it off the heat, and let it cool while you work on the rest of the filling.  

In the bowl of a mixer add 4 packages of room temperature cream cheese.  Yes, four.  Don't even think about how many bagels it would take to use up four packages of cream cheese.  Just don't do it.  

Add 1-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar.

And 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.  

Mix until combined.  Doesn't that look amazing?  

Scrape down the sides and mix a little more.  You might want to taste it at this point - just to make sure it's fit for human consumption, of course.  

Oh my.

You should probably wrap up all your taste-testing at this point, because the eggs are about to go in.  I like to crack them into a little bowl first so I don't risk marring the cheesecake with a stray piece of eggshell.  

Blend in four eggs, one at a time.

If you think this looks good, just wait.

At this point your melted chocolate should have cooled down a little.  Once it's lukewarm, add it to the mixer and mix away.  

I went a little crazy with the picture-taking.  Can you blame me?  It's like art.  

Oh yeah.

I don't even know what to say.  

I contemplated pouring it into the pan at this point, but I figured I would probably lose the design in the pouring process.  

Don't you just want to dive in?  I think bobbing for apples would be more appealing if they were in a bowl of cheesecake batter.  Is that going too far?  

Seriously, I cannot get enough.  Scrape down the bowl one last time.

And stop mixing.  

Pour the batter into the pan, and smooth the top.  Bake at 350 for an hour or a little more.

Here's what mine looked like after about an hour and five minutes.  The center appears to be a little unset, but it's done.  

Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge.  Then let it cool completely, or as long as you can, before refrigerating it.  It's best to chill it overnight, but I'm fairly certain that it will taste delicious regardless of chilling time.  

Here it is after about 10 hours of chilling.  

Voila!  This cheesecake is delicious.  It's SO easy to make, and equally easy to eat. :)

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

I like this post because it is cheese AND chocolate. :)

February 15, 2009  
Blogger Nicholas.Eoin said...

Do you have any leftovers? If so, bring to family law.

February 16, 2009  

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