CHOCOLATE CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE
For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter - melted
2 tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the cake (two parts):
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
8 (1 oz) squares of semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tblsp whipping cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua or Tia Maria)
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tblsp icing/confectioners sugar
2 tblsp coffee liqueur
2 tblsp chocolate syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or grease) one 9” springform pan.
- Combine chocolate cookie crumbs, softened butter, sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and press into the buttered springform pan. (1)
- In a medium sized bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar, mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth. (2)
- Melt the semisweet chocolate in a microwave (intervals of 30 seconds on high – stirring between cycles). Once melted and smooth, let cool before adding to main batter.
- Stir melted chocolate and 2 tablespoons of whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, 1/3 cup coffee liqueur and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour mixture into pan. (3 & 4)
- Bake in the centre of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The centre will be soft but firm up when chilled. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake and chill in refrigerator. (5)
For the frosting:
Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in the icing sugar, liqueur and syrup. Spread topping on chilled cake. (6)
Tips and Tweaks:
(1) Since I did not have the cookie crumbs and being my lazy-ass self, I used two pre-made, store bought chocolate crusts (Oreo), then crumbled them with some melted (or softened) butter to set the crumbs for the crust into the bottom of the pan. In hindsight, I might have used the butter-and-flour method (using the crumbs in place of the flour) to coat the sides of the pan as opposed to trying to press the crust up the sides of the pan. Or you could just dispense with a side crust altogether.
(2) I have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a large bowl and the attachments tend not to reach the shallowest parts of the bowl. While beating the cream cheese (regardless of your mixer), occasionally scrape the sides, but mostly the bottom and your mixing attachment(s) with a rubber spatula to make sure all the cheese becomes incorporated with the batter which should, hopefully, eliminate any tiny lumps of cheese (or if you really want to go the extra mile and you are a masochistic narcissistic baker, you could push the batter through a sieve to eliminate the bumps and zits). But it’s always a good idea to add the separate ingredients before turning the power back on to the mixer.
(3) You can use ground coffee instead of instant, just make it strong. And if you are really into espresso (or cappuccino), the stronger the better!
(4) Once all of the batter ingredients are well blended and just before you pour it into the crust, whip it – whip it good! (Sorry for that earworm.) This will help the mousse-like texture of the cake.
(5) To prevent cracks in the cake, place a shallow pan of water in the oven. This is not always successful in preventing cracks but they (the cracks) are easily covered up with topping. If you see a crack developing after 30 - 35 minutes of baking, turn off the oven, leave the door closed for about 10 to 20 minutes then leave the oven door ajar for about 45 minutes.
(6) If you are going to use the whipped cream topping, make sure the cream is very cold (but do not freeze it), and that the bowl is chilled before whipping. I set my bowl in an ice bath while whipping (and it does take some time to whip). Else, you could use a cherry pie filling or other topping of your choice. I might try a meringue topping next time.
I really hope some of you try and enjoy this recipe.
The recipe for March is Creamy Zucchini Soup. Stay tuned.