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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake {with Chocolate Ganache}.

Be careful what you wish for.  That’s how I felt when I was first handed this recipe.  You see it had been quite some time since our last Adventure in Chocolate.  I’ve been following a new healthy living routine and couldn’t quite figure out where chocolate would fit in.

So I called on an expert.  Wendy.  Friend.  Coworker.  Fellow lover of life and chocoholic.

I asked her to select a decadent chocolate dessert that I would make, picture, post on Lemony Thyme and ultimately deliver to her.  To devour.  That’s how she approaches chocolate (and mac ‘n cheese, but we’ll save that for another thyme).  Wendy stands about 5ft nothing and weighs what most of us weighed in 3rd grade.  For those of us who know and love her (you can’t do one without the other) we’ve learned that this bundle of high energy can put away some manly portions of food.  We have names for girls like her.  MmHmm.

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Well dear Wendy chose Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake.  As I write this post I have already delivered the finished product and I have to say I was quite proud.  So while I was a bit intimidated by this, my first cheesecake recipe, I’m so happy now to have one under my culinary belt.  A notch in my wooden spoon as B said.

I must share that I did not bake this cheesecake without the help of many…strangers.  You see I couldn’t tackle such a challenge without doing suitable research.  And my initial assumption was correct, cheesecakes can be tricky to make.  I found countless articles with tips and tricks on how to succeed and avoid disaster (hard to imagine a bad cheesecake).

  • TIP #1 ~ Invest in a springform pan if you don’t already have one.  And go ahead and lightly grease it and line the bottom with parchment paper.  It won’t hurt.
  • TIP #2 ~ Allow your ingredients to come up to room temperature (minimum of 1 hour)
  • TIP #3 ~ Beat cream cheese alone until light and fluffy, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula.  Then put the spatula away.  To avoid lumps which can lead to cracking, once you begin to add additional ingredients only beat long enough to incorporate and DO NOT SCRAPE THE MIXING BOWL.
  • TIP #4 ~ Whether you choose a water bath or a pan of water on the rack below, the moist water will help with even cooking and creamy texture.
  • TIP #5 ~ A lower slower cooking temp. and cooling off period will help avoid cracking.
  • TIP #6 ~ When the baking time is complete, turn oven off and allow cheesecake to begin the cool down process and rest in oven for an hour.  Do not open oven door.
  • TIP #7 ~ Once removed from the oven, run a knife gently around the edge to help the cheesecake release from sides.  Do not remove sides.
  • TIP #8 ~ Allow cheesecake to cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating.
  • TIP #9 ~ Chill cheesecake in refrigerator for 8 – 24 hours before removing springform side.
  • TIP #10 ~ If applying a topping, such as Chocolate Ganache or Chocolate Curls, chill cake another hour after applying before slicing.

This was such a fun way to Share the Love with my work family and with you.  Hmm, I wonder who will be chosen to select our next Adventure in Chocolate.

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake {with Chocolate Ganache}
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups crushed dark chocolate-and-almond shortbread cookies (about 18 cookies). We used Keebler Dark Chocolate and Almond Shortbread Sandies
  • 2 Tbl. melted butter
  • 2 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages Philadelphia cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Ganache Topping (see recipe link in post)
  • Chocolate Curls for garnish (see recipe link in post)
Instructions
  1. ***BEFORE YOU BEGIN*** Be sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature (set out at least one hour).
  2. Set oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place a 9x13 pan on lower rack. Add 4 cups hot water.
  3. Lightly grease 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment paper. Combine crushed cookies and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of prepared springform pan. Use empty measuring cup to press firmly.
  4. Microwave chocolate and cream at HIGH for 1½ minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals. Remove and stir until chocolate and cream are combined well.
  5. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a stand mixer for 2 minutes or until light and smooth, scraping down sides with rubber spatula (now put spatula away, no more scraping from this point forward). Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, beating until just combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Add chocolate mixture, beating just until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. **DO NOT SCRAPE BOWL**
  6. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes, gently rotate pan 180 degrees midway through baking. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to stand in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. **COOL COMPLETELY** in pan on a wire rack (minimum 1 hour). Cover with waxed paper then plastic wrap and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  7. Remove sides then gently separate parchment lined cake from bottom of pan and slide onto a serving plate. Slowly pour warm Ganache Topping over cheesecake, slightly tipping cake to encourage 'overflow' around the edges. Chill 1 hour before garnishing or serving.

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