Friday, August 28, 2009
my 2nd attempt at a cheesecake
It was my friend Sharon's birthday - and I wanted to make sure that not only did she have a fabulous day with her friends, but that she also had a pretty fabulous birthday cake as well. For most people that means 3 things: chocolate, alcohol and cheesecake. I hit all 3 of those requirements in this one. Lots of chocolate, nice and creamy with a hint of liquor - the perfect way to celebrate the big... :0) (don't worry Sharon, I won't tell...)
I used the remaining cookies I had frozen from my July DB challenge (the Whippets - July 27th) so I ended up with enough cookie base for an 8 inch cheesecake AND a smaller one (4 inches)... but if you follow the recipe below you'll end up with just the right amount of cookie base for one 9 inch cake pan.
I also pulled out a bottle of Sabra liquor - a thoughtful gift from my father. Bailey's or Kahlua would work as well... I just wanted to make use of my gift. (merci papa)
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
1 1/3 c. cookie crumbs (your choice - chocolate, graham crackers, etc. you decide - I used homemade butter cookies)
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 x 250 g cream cheese (block), at room temperature
300 ml can sweetened condensed milk
120 g white chocolate, chopped and melted
2 tbsp Sabra liquor
120 g semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted
1/4 c. whipping cream
120 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
If you're going to be using home made cookies for the base, pulse them in your food processor until they form nice crumbs. Otherwise, just grab your cookie crumbs and blend with the melted butter. You'll want to make sure that everything is evenlyl moistened (add more melted butter if you think you need some). Press firmly into the bottom of your springform pan (or cake pan if you're using a regular one).
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with your hand mixer at medium speed for about 1 minute - until fluffy. While the mixer is still running, pour in the condensed milk. Beat until smooth (scrape the sides of the bowl and the remaining condensed milk from the can). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until everything is blended. Add the Sabra.
Using a double boiler - melt your white chocolate in one bowl and the semisweet chocolate in another.
Now - divide your creamcheese batter in half - putting half in your white chocolate and the remaining half with the semisweet chocolate. Grab your beaters again and beat both mixtures until they are smooth.
Pour the semisweet chocolate batter over the cookie crust. Use a spatula to spread it evenly. Carefully pour the white chocolate on top and spread the batter on top of the chocolate.
IF using a springform pan, grab some tinfoil and make sure that the base is well sealed (so that water doesn't get into the pan). If not, you can skip this step.
Place the pan in a large baking dish filled with 2 to 3 inches of hottest tap water.
Bake for about 45 minutes (35 minutes for the mini one) - you still want the cake to be a bit jiggly.
Cool on a rack to room temperature . Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Once your cheesecake has chilled completely, make your ganache.
In a saucepan over medium heat, scald the cream. Remove from heat and whisk in the bittersweet chocolate until melted and smooth.
Spoon onto the cheesecake and spread over the top (and sides if using a springform pan and have removed the sides). Return to the fridge and allow to cool completely.
Happy Birthday Sharon!