Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Adrenalin Junkie Cheesecake



Two forms of dark chocolate, chocolate covered espresso bean and cookie crumb crust and espresso sugar, what's not to love.
Crust
24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
half a dozen chocolate covered espresso beans (Ok, I used a few extra  Look a Squirrel!!!)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Chop espresso beans in food processor until chopped, then add in cookies and process until finely ground.  Blend in sugar and melted butter and process until blended.  Press the crumbs onto the bottom only of the prepared pan.  Bake about 5 minutes.  Leave oven on but remove crust and let cool on a wire rack.
Filling

1 9.7-ounce bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (Lindt is a good substitute but don't use Baker's chocolate as it is too grainy for this recipe)
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature  (that's four normal sized bricks)
1 and 1/3 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons of  Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon  instant espresso powder (I use the Starbucks instant coffee)
a drop  or two of Madagascar vanilla
4 large eggs

Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl  and set aside to let cool  until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, cocoa and espresso powder in clean food processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Leaving the mixer on, pour in lukewarm chocolate. and mix until blended.  Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake for 55 minutes to one hour.  Center should be set and just appears dry.  Remove from oven and cool 5-10 minutes.  Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen and when completely cool, cover loosely with foil and chill overnight

Ganache

An hour prior to serving:

3/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
1 tablespoon  Artisano's espresso sugar (they ship if you contact them)

Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes and pour over cheesecake, spreading with a spatula..
Top with whipped cream and more espresso sugar if desired.

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