Friday, January 28, 2011

Mocha Truffle Cheesecake


Lately, I've been itching for cheesecake. I have about fifty recipes I want to try. But I have a tendency to talk myself out of making a cheesecake if I don't have a reason to make one. I know what you're thinking. Who needs a reason to make a cheesecake?! Well, I do. I need a reason that involves hungry mouths willing to help me eat the darn thing because I have very little self control when one is sitting in my frig. I really don't have too much self control over anything I make because I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, so I try to  ensure all my baked goods have a beeline out the door before I start making them. Besides, most of what I enjoy about baking is sharing with others!

We had some friends over the other weekend, and when I heard they were coming for dinner I got very excited because I knew I would need to make a dessert... and since others were going to help us eat the dessert, I was ecstatic... finally a reason to make a cheesecake!
Each bite was richly divine. I loved the hint of espresso wrapped in chocolate, accented with a fluff of almond whipped topping. The texture was silky smooth. I was almost uncertain whether to even call it a cheesecake because the texture was not as firm as I expected. My initial thought was that I didn't bake it long enough. But when I tested it by tapping the side of the pan, the top seemed to have set and I was almost fearful that I had over-baked it. None the less, everyone seemed to really enjoy it so that was good enough for me. :) But the next time I make this, I want to try it with a chocolate wafer crust. This crust called for a box of devils food cake mix which while tasty, did not really win me over. I even wonder if the thickness of the crust affected the baking of the center... but honestly I don't know too terribly much about baking cheesecakes, so I could be way off with that assumption.

Does anyone have any tips on making a successful cheesecake? I have forty nine recipes left to go, and still a whole-heck-of-a-lot to learn... :)

Ingredients
Yields 12-16 servings
Crust:
1 box of devil's food cake mix
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg 
1 tbsp instant espresso

Filling:
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3 tbsp instant espresso
1/4 cup hot water
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, egg, and espresso until well blended. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan; set aside.

Preheat oven to 325°F. In another large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in condensed milk and melted chocolate. Dissolve espresso in water. Add espresso and eggs to cream cheese mixture; beat on low speed just until combined.

Pour cream cheese filling into prepared crust. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove sides of pan. Before serving, in a medium bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and extract until soft peaks form. Spread over top of cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate pieces. Refrigerate leftovers.

Source: adapted from Taste of Home Fall Baking Cookbook magazine

20 comments:

Jill Colonna on January 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM said...

My goodness, this looks absolutely delicious. Now, do you REALLY need an excuse to make this? OK, I've got an excuse for you. Make it again with that chocolate wafer crust!

Katrina on January 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM said...

Buzzed it! Loved it!

Kate @ Diethood.com on January 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM said...

I love cheesecake, and I really really love what you've done with it! WOW!

Steph on January 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM said...

This looks so creamy...and chocolatey!! Love it!!

Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen on January 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM said...

Well one tip for an easy cheesecake if you wan't to save some time is to make it in a store bought crust. I'm usually a purist but I've made a few in the oreo crust and they turned out fabulously. These are some of my favorite flavors in yours though!!

Cakewhiz on January 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM said...

This looks so much better than the regular wafer crusted cheesecake. Just lovely!

briarrose on January 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM said...

Oh my this looks wonderful. The crust is amazing. I would have trouble not diving into this treat. ;)

The Mom Chef on January 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM said...

I will always, always eat cheesecake and will never turn down an invitation to help finish it off (hint, hint). This looks absolutely fantastic. Your friends were very lucky.

Sandra on January 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM said...

Ohhh my..It looks so so good! Love how creamy it is, and wonderful photos!

Mateja ^_^ on January 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM said...

I already have a weakness for chocolate...and with your cheesecake this weakness would be somewhat silenced...well probably not but it sure would be darn satisfying to cut into a slice of your sinful creation ^_^

sweetsbysillianah on January 28, 2011 at 8:58 PM said...

this looks like heaven for chocolate lovers... i actually like how it uses a cake for the crust - i've done that before and i prefer it over a cookie crust. now i want some cheeesecake...

Annie on January 29, 2011 at 8:09 AM said...

Having never made a real cheesecake myself I can't really help you out. In any case it looks delicious! I think a wafer or oreo crust would be a much better fit too.

thecoffeebreak on January 29, 2011 at 5:34 PM said...

I never can say no to a cheesecake, and it would not be possible to say no to yours :) Thank you for sharing!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) on January 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM said...

I think you've chosen the best cheesecake recipe. Ever.

This looks so so so good, and lush, and smooth, and everything you'd want a cheesecake to be!
I look forward to following more of your recipes throughout the year.

Lizzy on January 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM said...

You reeled me in with just the name of the recipe...it looks fabulous!!!

happywhennothungry on January 30, 2011 at 8:18 PM said...

This looks so delicious and creamy!!

baking.serendipity on January 30, 2011 at 10:58 PM said...

I love cheesecake and my husband is a total sucker for mocha...this is one cheesecake that would definitely please us both!

Mateja ^_^ on February 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM said...

You have an award waiting for you: http://bit.ly/fE7iqT
Mateja @Indulging Life

Lisa on February 2, 2011 at 10:50 PM said...

What a fabulous looking cheesecake. You're gonna give Cheesecake Factory some major competition with this one. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. I hope you'll be able to join in again.

Kim - Liv Life on February 2, 2011 at 11:48 PM said...

Oh MY!! You have me craving a piece of this!!! MMMMMMMMM!

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