Thursday, 30 May 2013

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

Three months and 11 days ago I posted a recipe for Chicken and Sweet Onion Soup. Then I logged off, planned a wedding, got through the wedding, jetted off to my honeymoon, had a great time, came back,  sorted out our flat, slowly remembered that I have to go back to work and eased it back into the equation, and then cooking ('cause a girls gotta eat!), and kinda forgot about this blog.

Not really! But I am long overdue with posting here, and I have got a few recipes to post, it's just that laziness gets the better of me. I have a list of things to do, including: sitting on the couch and typing up this post, putting a load of clothes from the overflowing basket in the washing machine, putting the clean clothes that are scattered around the room in the cupboard, or just staring into space with the food network on and thinking about what I should do with my day. So far, I've stared into space with the food network on and thought about what I should do with my day for ten minutes an hour 2 episodes of friends and 4 cooking shows worth (no, I'm not telling you how long that was), and now I'm writing this post that I started writing 2 weeks ago. I wasn't lying when I said laziness gets the best of me.

But I come bearing gifts! And by gifts I mean a deadly but delicious 5 layer cheesecake. We start off with a cheesecake crumb crust that doesn't only include digestive biscuits and butter, but some chopped dark chocolate, sugar and a touch of nutmeg. Then a layer of chocolate ganache is introduced, followed buy the cappuccino cheesecake filling. This is then topped with a sour cream topping and decorated with some more ganache.

Ok, so I know a slice of that sounds like a couple of hours in the gym, but trust me, it's worth it. Even when you're cleaning all the dishes that were involved in the making. The cheesecake itself is a beauty, and if you read the description above, you'd know that its guaranteed to taste amazing (and it did!).

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2002
(makes an 9-inch cheesecake, serves a lot of people)

250 grams chocolate digestive biscuits
170 grams 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
100 grams dark brown sugar
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
100 grams hot melted unsalted butter

300ml whipping cream
530 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped

Cheesecake Filling
675 grams cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), room temperature
250 grams sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
1 1/2 tablespoons ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind) (I increased the espresso powder instead)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses (I didn't have any, so used honey instead)
3 large eggs

375 ml sour cream
75 grams sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional: A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans

For crust: Finely grind digestive biscuits, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in processor. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Wrap plastic wrap around fingers and press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan.

For ganache: Bring whipping cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour 2 cups ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later to decorate the cheesecake.

For cheesecake filling: Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 175°C. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended. Scrape down the bowl to make sure the unmixed cheese at the bottom is mixed in. Beat in flour. Stir in espresso powder, ground coffee, vanilla, and molasses/honey in small bowl until instant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition.
Pour filling over cold ganache in crust. Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and center 2 inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing topping (top of cheesecake will fall slightly). Maintain oven temperature.

For topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about 3 hours.
Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip.  Decorate as you please, or to decorate as above, pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes of ganache around top edge of cake. Garnish with coffee beans, if desired. Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours. 

Like most cheesecakes, this cheesecakes is best made a day before. Also, the cake takes quite a while to make so it's best (for your stress levels) to be made the day before serving. It can be made up to 4 days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep chilled.

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