Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chocolate Liqueur Suicide Cheesecake

This one is for those that choose a plain chocolate bar over all the other varieties.  Kind of like a chocoholic purist. You know "their" kind - they feel that then only way to enjoy chocolate is when it is stand alone.  Adding things such as peanut butter or coconut is considered nothing but a crime in that particular group of people.

Cheesecake is commonly recognized as a very heavy and rich dessert.  I have seen several recipes for cheesecake and find this one to to be beyond the standard- richer and higher in fat.  In summation, this is not an "everyday" snack.  It is something you would have on a special occasion.  Also, one small sliver is so rich,  it will take care of your chocolate craving for quite sometime.

For those that are still game for the indulgence, you will not be sorry.  One bite contains the tang of cream cheese , bittersweet rich chocolate and then a note of Irish cream all chased by a chocolate coated graham nut crust.  The mix of silky smooth filling and crunchy crust makes for heavenly texture hitting your tastebuds.  So it is time to get your chocolate fix!

As always, please be sure to read all the way through, prior to starting.  The tips and notes at the end will help your dessert be a success.

Chocolate Liqueur Suicide Cheesecake
adapted from Cakes by Readers Digest

6 oz of semisweet chocolate  (chips or chopped)
7 tbs of melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup toasted almonds or hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup sugar
1 lb bittersweet chocolate (chips or chopped )
4-8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
4 eggs (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tbs sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare a 10 inch spring form pan by buttering the interior.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, mix together the graham crumbs, sugar and nuts.  Stir in the melted butter. Empty the mixture in to the prepared pan.  Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides.  The crumbs should be pressed up the sides, leaving a 1/2 or 1/4 inch border of the top edge of the pan. Bake crust until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on rack.

While crust is cooling, set up a double boiler and add the 6 oz of chopped semi sweet chocolate.  Melt chocolate in the double boiler then remove to cool.  After about 15 minutes, pour chocolate in cooled crust and make sure it covers the bottom evenly.  Then place in freezer for at least 15 minutes.

To make the filling, clean out the double boiler and set up again.  This time you will melt the 1 lb of bittersweet chocolate.  Once melted, remove and set aside to cool.

Place a saucepan over low heat and pour in 1/2 cup of cream.  Once warm add the cocoa.  As the mixture cooks, whisk constantly.  The mixture will thicken to a pudding like consistency.  Remove from heat and stir in the liqueur and the remaining cream. Let cool completely.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar.  Beat mixture on medium speed until smooth and blended.  Add one egg and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.  Continue with the process for each egg until all four have been mixed in.  Then stir in the cocoa mixture as well as the melted chocolate.   Once completely blended, take out graham crusted pan from freezer and empty filling into crust. Smooth the surface, making sure all is even.

Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Cheesecake is done when completly set.  Let cool in pan on rack and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. After cooling time, remove outside ring or pan side.

Lastly, prepare the topping by beating cream, vanilla and sugar together until it holds stiff peaks.  Fill a pastry bag and decoratively pipe on top of the cheesecake.

Tips and Notes:
1. Do not beat mixture at high speed nor beat for an excess amount of time.  This will cause your cake to have too much air and rise beyond the height of the pan.  If this happens, level the cheesecake after it cools.  Then cover that area with the decorative topping.

2. Use a squirt bottle to put the melted chocolate on top of the crumb crust.  The less pressure on the crust will insure that it does not crack.

3. When adding the cocoa, sift it in.  If you still notice cocoa chunks after mixture has cooled, add it to the cream cheese using a sieve so no dark chocolate flecks of cocoa appear in the filling.

4. I used almond flour instead of chopped nuts, it is much easier to make sure the flavor gets distributed evenly and saves some chopping time.

5. The topping is optional.  I chose to have the eater spoon on what they wanted of the whipped cream mixture rather than to decorate the cheesecake.  The other suggestion is serving with Raspberry coulis.

                              **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Ding Dong Cake**