Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake

This recipe is awesome. It is decadent in so many ways, it's probably a sin even to think about it. We've got a chocolate wafer crust. We've got nutmeg. We've got chocolate ganache. We've got espresso. We've got a pound of cream cheese and more than two pounds of chocolate. Oh, and we've got Kahlua and rum. Like I said, it's decadent. This is my semi-secret weapon ("semi-" because obviously it's not a secret if you tell people) and if you bring it to a party, it wows like almost nothing else.

I would simply link to the recipe on Epicuriuos, but it seems that they no longer have it in their online database. For those who are concerned about this sort of thing, it's from the February 2002 issue of Bon Appetit. And without further ado, the recipe:

Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake

Be sure to make this dessert at least one day ahead to allow the flavors to blend.
Serves 12


1 9-ounce box of chocolate wafer cookies
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

Finely grind cookies, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in processor. Add butter and proces until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to 10-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.


1.5 cups whipping cream
20 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

Bring whipping cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and Kahlua. 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 for creating lattice pattern.


2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
2 tablespoons ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
4 large eggs

Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in flour. Stir rum, espresso powder, ground coffee, vanilla, and molasses in small bowl until intant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.

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 5 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing topping (top of cheesecake will fall slightly). Maintain oven temperature.


1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Espresso beans (optional)

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 a 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. 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. (Can be made 4 days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep chilled.)