Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seven in Seven 2: Cheesecake

A couple of years ago I bought a Better Homes & Gardens special interest magazine about holiday baking, primarily because the cover claimed to have a spread on cheesecakes. $5.99 well spent, my friends. After trying out several recipes, I adapted one of their recipes and created this one, which I shall now share with you, you lucky people.

Dr. Maureen’s Chocolate Raspberry Kahlua Cheesecake
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking, 2004, Chocolate Irish-Cream Cheesecake

Active time: 45 min Baking time: 1 hr Total time: 7-24 hr Oven: 325F

Notes
The original recipe called for 24 oz of cream cheese, 8 oz of sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, 8 oz of chocolate, and 3 eggs, but I thought the cheesecake was too tall, so I reduced everything by 1/3. The original recipe also used ½ cup Irish cream instead of Kahlua, but ½ cup was just a bit too much.
To soften the cream cheese, I microwave it for about 30 seconds. In my experience it makes a smoother cheesecake. I also microwave the jelly just to warm it up enough to get it to the right viscosity for swirling; that is your preference.

Ingredients

Crust
1.5 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies, about 18 cookies
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Filling
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened (see note)
6 oz sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
6 oz semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/3 c Kahlua
½ Tbsp whipping cream or milk
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup seedless raspberry jelly, warmed (see note)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Crust: Combine crushed cookies, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss to mix then press gently into a 9- or 10- inch springform pan. You can use a cup with a crisp edge to get the crust to press into the edges of the pan.
  3. Filling: Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and melted chocolate. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Gently stir in eggs until just combined – overbeating here will introduce air which will lead to cracks in the finished cake. If you ever get a cheesecake that doesn’t crack, let me know. I never have. Stir in Kahlua, cream or milk, and vanilla.
  4. Pour filling into pan. Swirl the raspberry jelly into the filling. Put the pan on a cookie sheet in case it leaks and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  5. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then loosen the crust from the side of the pan. Cool 30 minutes more and remove the sides of the pan. Cool for one hour, then cover and chill for 6-24 hours.

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