My earliest memory of cheesecake has scarred me forever. When I was probably around 13 years old, I was at my friend’s house and we decided to bake something. For some reason that I can no longer remember, we decided on a cheesecake – just a regular old-fashioned cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. This was the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen in my life – we did an outstanding job – especially given that neither of us had ever done that before. I am not even sure I had ever had a piece of cheesecake, but at that point in my life – since there were no sweets in my house – I was into pretty much anything that wasn’t chocolate.
We were so proud of this cheesecake – that yes, we took a picture! Little did I know that someday this would be something I do constantly… We found her mom’s camera, and took a picture of this beauty. Mind you - we have still not had a piece at this point. My friend was putting it into the refrigerator to chill – when she stumbled just a little, and there went the cheesecake onto the floor. We just couldn’t believe it. We were so upset. We salvaged what we could – but thank goodness for the pictures. We never forgot that day – in fact, even though we grew apart later on in high school – whenever we saw each other, we would talk about our stunning cheesecake that ended up on the floor.
To this day, whenever I think of cheesecake, I think about that day. When I carried this cake outside to photograph it, I thought how classic it would be if it ended up on the floor.
This recipe is one of my favorites from Bon Appetit - I have adapted it slightly below by changing the crust. I love the chocolate wafer cookies and think they make an excellent crust. This was the first time I made the chocolate curls on top – the cheesecake had such a big crack in it, that I had to cover it up – especially because this was for a school auction. The curls were SO EASY to make, I will definitely do it again. This is a great method – I highly recommend it – even if your cheesecake doesn’t crack!
- 20 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder or coffee powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Chocolate curls (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix crackers, butter and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl; press onto bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake crust 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Combine cream, espresso powder and vanilla in small bowl; set aside. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 1/4 cups sugar, then eggs 1 at a time. Beat in flour. Stir espresso mixture until powder dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter over crust. Bake cake until edges are puffed and beginning to crack and center is just set, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool on rack 30 minutes; chill cake uncovered until cold, about 6 hours. Cover; keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Cut around cake to loosen. Release pan sides. Top with chocolate curls, if desired.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Cappuccino Cheesecake