Cappuccino Cheesecake

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!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 20 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Filling

  • 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

 

Preparation

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

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