Helllooooooo, Yankee Belle Cafe!
The Fresh Pioneer is back and I've got the most delicious recipe. I think the original title is Cappuccino Cheesecake, but I didn't think that was descriptive enough. That sounded a bit like a lightly flavored coffee. NOOOO, this is some seriously STRONG cheesecake. The original blog post where I found it is over on Smitten Kitchen. I think she said one might need to take a break and jog around the block a few times while consuming a slice. This isn't for the faint of heart!
Now, before I get started, let me just say that my Texas friend Christalee was also trying out this recipe AT THE SAME TIME. I made that all caps because I said I was going to try it, and she said she would too. All is well and good, yes? But we're homeschooling moms and juggling households and writing and kids and appointments and hungry peeps, so when we SAY we're going to do something, it doesn't always mean RIGHT THIS MINUTE, or even sometime in the next week. But oddly enough, we actually ended up making the cheese cake almost simultaneously, two thousand miles apart.
(Here she is with her handsome husband, Greg. Aren't they adorable? This was at something called a Denim and Diamonds themed Christmas party. I'd never heard of such a thing. I had to Google. Like with a foreign language. Google translate said it had nothin' so I went ahead and asked.... The answer is basically: BLING. And more BLING. But she took off her blinged out jacket for the pic, so just use your imagination.)
Anyway, so, I think we started making cheesecake-making noises on a Monday. And then I got distracted, and then I had to go shopping, and then someone ate some of the ingredients and then I had revisions and then I made something else and... finally, I got everything together.
And this is only some of it.
MMMMM. Gratuitous chocolate picture.
So, starting with the crust, as all good cheesecakes do:
1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
(I used graham crackers because I couldn't find any wafer cookies that came in chocolate. Apparently, Oregon is a vanilla wafer state.)
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter
Uh oh. A lego criminal is scaling the side of the cheesecake pan!
1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur
Melt the whipping cream and chocolate together, and add Kahlua.
Pour TWO CUPS of the ganache into the bottom of the cheesecake and let it chill for 30 minutes. (You'll need the reserve for the decorations.)
Beat together the first three ingredients first, then add all the rest, one at a time, mixing well after each.
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses (all I could find was the normal stuff)
3 large eggs
(Christalee used egg substitute and everything worked just perfectly.)
Wait, you don't remember who Thor is?
He's been working VERY hard to learn all the ins and outs of being a good mixer. Here, he's reading Edna's Sunbeam manual. See? No bitter rivalry! Edna is the kind of mixer that will help you out when you need it.
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bake until the topping is set, about 15 minutes more.
Huh. Even worse. the kids were loving it, and I was thinking I'd wasted $25 on a cheesecake that tasted like a gingerbread cookie soaked in coffee.
So, I was whining to Christalee about the cheesecake. (Specifically, I said, "Don't make the cheesecake! BAD! BAD!")
But she was already started! We were living parallel lives. (Except one of us was a lot cooler because she was TEXAN. I think it makes a difference in the kitchen. It's a genetic thing. Something you pick up in the air or something. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I bet The Tex will back me up on this.)
To be fair, I did let it chill overnight and tried it again. It was MUCH better the next day. Still not a flavor I was crazy about, but I tend to like my cheesecakes fruity, not chocolaty. As for everyone else, they devoured it. Gone in two days.
OK, I hope you enjoyed this transnational bake-a-thon! And many thanks to Christalee for sharing her photos (especially the Denim and Diamonds one!).
Until next time!