Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busy Weekend Chocolate Cheesecake

Baker's Chocolate Bliss Cheesecake
I was crazy busy this weekend... 

So I went grocery shopping with a "best guess" of a list

It gave me a little thrill to entertain "without a net"...

The gamble paid off, the store had a box of chocolate with a recipe on it and it was good enough that I would definitely make this cheesecake again:

This recipe is like dark chocolate truffle, it's perfect if you like intense but less sweet desserts. If you like something sweeter you might want to throw some caramel sauce on top. Raspberry or Coffee Syrup could work too.

I used a pre-made 9" cookie crumb crust (look in the canned fruit section). You could also make your own crust for a 9” spring-form pan with 18 Oreo cookies and 2 tbsp butter... but like I said, I was crazy busy.

Next time I would also let it rest longer. The original recipe said 4 hours, I made it first thing in the morning, and served it 12 hours later. It was pretty good and I was proud to serve it, but it was SO much better the second day that next time I would plan to make it a whole day ahead. The chocolate, dairy, and sweet flavors seemed to “marry” better after it had some time to sit.

I'm curious to know what happens in there while it's resting, so maybe I'll do some reading and get back to you. In my universe baked goods “should” be best the day they are made, but this really was about 30% better the day after... sneaky food is sneaky.

Chocolate Bliss Cheesecake 
(Adaption from Baker's Brand)

1 ready-made Oreo Crumb Crust in a 9” pie plate
3 tablespoons butter
6 ounces (squares) of Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate (red box)
3 (8 oz) packages of Cream Cheese
¾ cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract
3 Eggs
Pinch Salt
Whipped Cream for Garnish (2 c. heavy cream + 2 tbsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla)

Oven to 325 °F
Sometimes temperature differences can make a batter curdle, so I decided not to take any chances and brought everything up to room temp. I warmed both the eggs and the cream cheese (still wrapped) in a bowl of very hot tap water for about 10 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave about 30 seconds, then stir and heat for additional 10 seconds (at a time) if needed. Don't burn the chocolate - if you notice a bubbly, dry/crispy look on the edges it's gone, start over. Allow to cool until it's comfortable to handle.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add the sugar and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt - blend until uniform color.

Put the prepared crust on another pan to catch any spills, then pour batter into the prepared crust. Bake for 55 minutes. Cheesecakes may still look wiggly in the middle AND be fully cooked. Do not overcook. My cake did puff up a couple inches above the pan, but didn't spill over the edges.

Allow to cool until room temp before covering. If I had to put it in the fridge I would try letting it cool 20 minutes on a rack, then put it the fridge on the top shelf with tinfoil tented over the top but not crimped down around the edges. If the steam condenses on the lid and drips back down it leaves a little lighter patch... it's mostly cosmetic though, if you plan to cover the whole cake with whipped cream to serve it might not be a big deal.

My cake did have some surface cracks, basically in a ring shape about 1” from the edge. It was probably because it puffed during cooking, and it didn't distract from the look.. The cake did settle back down to a perfect height: It wasn't mounded high, but it was high enough over the edge of the pan that it didn't look skimpy when sliced.

This 9” cake should be sliced into 12 or 16 pieces. I LOVE dessert, so I originally cut it into 8 slices... but that was just too much, even thought we only had appetizers (not a full meal). For left overs I cut the remaining pieces in half and that was the perfect amount.

If you are making whipped cream, chill everything well before starting (bowl, beaters, and cream). The fat in the cream must stay cold so it can hold air and turn into a foam. Also It's better to under beat the cream than the other way. If you over beat the cream it basically begins separating into butter and buttermilk. Soft, flowing whip cream is a totally legit topping. Julia Child said so, apparently it's very French.


Bake once, serve all weekend!

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like this LaDonna! I felt like it was a sleeper hit, I had low expectations because I didn't research the recipe before hand... I'm happy it worked!
      -Jade

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