Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saint Patrick's Mocktail Cheesecake

Format conversion...very popular in the realm of food bloggers and the food industry in general. We enjoy creating cupcakes with the flavor of cookies or cakes that taste like (and made with) vanilla ice cream. Also, if you have not tried Southern biscuits and gravy-you can now try the flavor in a potato chip.

Today's recipe is a conversion of a bar drink into a cheesecake. The inspiration comes from a drink called "Rude Boy" and is very appropriate for St Patrick's day. The drink is made up of Irish stout, coconut rum and coffee. For the cheesecake, the bottom starts with a coconut graham crust. The first layer of cheesecake is a combination of chocolate and Irish stout. This layer came out fluffier than most cheesecakes, but the dominating flavor of the combination is a rich chocolate. The top layer is the dense texture you would expect in a cheesecake. It reflects a rum flavor with a subtle undertone of coconut and the usual tang of cream cheese.

To further add to the flavor (as well as the presentation), the top edge is laced with espresso whipped cream and garnished with chocolate shamrocks.

This creation is my first time at melding the flavors and some tweaking is still needed to have more balance of flavor with the two layers. The recipe and instructions tie to the original creation. After making it and doing a taste test, I have put some tips and notes at the end of the instructions that would further enhance the dessert.

The recipe has been adapted from 3 recipes from the following different websites: layer of cheesecake layer of cheesecake and crust whipped cream topping

Saint Patrick's Mocktail Cheesecake

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 oz melted butter

Ingredients/Chocolate Stout Layer
1 egg plus 2 tbs of one beaten egg
1/4 plus 2 tbs of Irish stout beer (I used Guinness)
1 tbs heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1 1/2 packages or 12 oz cream cheese (softened)

Ingredients/ Coconut Layer
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut rum
2 packages or 16 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp flour

1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbs heavy whipped cream
1 tbs whipped cream stabilizer (optional)
4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate

Start with a 9 1/2 or a 10 inch springform pan. Fill a small bowl with all the crust ingredients and whisk together. Test to see that it clumps easily. If not, add a little bit more melted butter to reach the correct consistency. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides. Set aside.

For the stout layer: fill the bowl of the stand mixer with cream cheese. Using a low speed setting, beat for about 1 minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat this process 2 more times. The resulting texture will be smooth and free of lumps. Continue to beat on low speed and slowly pour in the sugar. Once blended, add the egg and 2 tbs of the beaten egg. Run mixer for another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. All the sugar and eggs should be evenly distributed into the batter.

Place the cream and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and then remove and stir. Repeat this process until all the chocolate has been melted. Turn mixer on medium speed and slowly pour in the melted chocolate. Beat mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl, until chocolate is fully mixed into the cream cheese batter. Then whisk in the remaining ingredients (beer, salt, sour cream and vanilla). Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Place in freezer for 45 minutes and then remove and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now you can start on the coconut layer.

For the coconut layer: fill the bowl of the stand mixer with cream cheese and follow the stout layer instructions for combining the sugar and cream cheese. Then beat in the flour. Remove bowl from mixer. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, blend one egg into the batter. Then stir in the other egg. Carefully fold in the additional ingredients, one at a time: sour cream, coconut and coconut rum.

Prepare a water bath by covering the bottom of the springform pan with foil. Place it in a larger pan and fill the larger pan with water. The water should come to the halfway point up the side of the pan. Place in oven and bake for one and 1/2 hours, up to 2 hours. The indicators for baking completion is when the cheesecake is golden on top, no longer glossy and it barely jiggles when moved. The frozen layer is what requires the additional bake time. Once completely baked, remove cheesecake and let come to room temperature and then place in refrigerator to set. Let chill for a minimum of 4 hours before adding the decorative topping.

For the topping, the decorative chocolate pieces should be made first. Start by drawing your design ( I did shamrocks) on a piece of paper. Depending on your skills, the design can be as simple or as intricate as you want. One drawing is needed, for you will slide this paper around under a sheet of wax paper after you make each chocolate piece. Place your paper drawing under a sheet of wax paper (leave some of the drawing paper sticking out underneath the wax paper) on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and remove top pot. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to piping bag or squirt bottle. Pipe your design using the drawing as a guideline. Continue to pipe and move the drawing until you have made the desired number of decorations. Let the decorations sit for about 5 minutes and then go back over them with some additional chocolate, making sure they are thick and sturdy so they will not break when handled. Once completed, place baking sheet in freezer.

For the whipped cream, start with cold equipment (beaters and bowl). Place espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in the bowl and let set for 10 minutes and then whisk together. Then add the heavy cream, whipped cream stabilizer (optional) and sift in the powdered sugar. Beat until it reaches piping consistency. Assemble a piping bag with a large decorating tip and fill with the whipped cream. Also, take out the decorative chocolate pieces from the freezer and peel them off of the waxed paper. Pipe the whipped cream along top edge of cheesecake and stand chocolate decorations up in the whipped cream, spacing as desired. Now the cheesecake is ready to serve. Refrigerate when not serving.

Tips and Notes:
1. The coconut layer was more dense than the chocolate stout layer. When making this again, I would try the coconut layer below the chocolate stout layer.

2. Since the stout layer was fluffier, perhaps having the stout set out so it is flat (no carbonation bubbles) may create a more dense cheesecake layer and it may even out the depth of the two layers. The chocolate layer in the above picture is much thicker than the coconut layer.

3. The chocolate in the stout layer is very rich and intense. To bring out more flavor in the coconut layer I would add coconut extract. This would balance the flavors more.

Wishing you a great Saint Patrick's day..Cheers!
                                **LAST YEAR:Palm Harvest Cake**