Monday, December 31, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake

This one is so easy, you can go get the ingredients after reading this post and have it ready in plenty of time to greet your New Year's guests.

I saw a photo in the coupon section of the paper from the Kraft recipe collection, which made me run online to look for the recipe.  This isn't it; it's better.

The great part of the ganache on top of this cake isn't merely that it's a chocolate coating.  It covers all cracks and dips that cheesecakes inevitably develop.  To minimize the imperfections, make sure the cake is thoroughly cooked before turning off the oven, and cool it very slowly.  You start by cooling it at least half an hour in the oven with the door cracked.  Then, you can take it out and put it on a cooling rack for another hour before doing the topping.  It sounds time-consuming, but the active time on this one, total, is about half an hour.

The only problem was that I had a very difficult time getting the crust off the bottom of the springform. It may have been because I used real butter instead of margarine.  I'm going to recommend you line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper.  Also, because the butter did leak out the bottom, make sure you place a rimmed cookie sheet under the pan while it's baking.

I made a 1/3 recipe in my 6" springform, so the proportions in the photo look off.  Also, because I never did get a good slice, check out the better picture on the link.

18 Oreos, crushed (about 1-1/2 C)
1/4 C butter
3 8oz packages of cream cheese
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C sour cream
3 eggs
12 oz baking chocolate (1-1/2 packages)
1/2 C heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt butter and combine with crushed Oreos until moist.  Press into bottom of a 9" springform pan that has been lined with waxed paper.  Place on a rimmed cookie sheet.

2.  Beat together sugar and cream cheese until well-combined and slightly fluffy.  Add sour cream and eggs and beat again until smooth.

3.  Chop 8 oz of the chocolate into bite-sized chunks and stir in.  Pour into pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is lightly set and cake no longer jiggles when shaken.  Turn off oven and allow to sit with oven door cracked for 30 minutes to an hour.  Allow to cool to room temperature for another hour.  Run an offset spatula or knife around the rim to loosen cake, but do not remove from pan.

4.  Chop remaining 4 oz of chocolate.  Bring cream to a simmer, then remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate and melt until smooth.  Pour over cake and spread with the spatula.  Chill for 3 hours.

5.  To serve, have a serving plate ready.  Pop open the springform.  Carefully lift cake off bottom plate and peel off waxed paper as you move it to the platter.  Allow to sit at room temperature 30 minutes to make slicing easier, and run the knife under hot water between slices.

Serves 16

Difficulty rating :)

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