This is my cookcabulary



Chocolate Cheesecake with Ganache

Hello my fellow blog readers! This is my first post to the 2010 year! Whoop whoop!  I wish I had something grand and marvelous to show you, but its only chocolate. 

…lots of chocolate.

Chocolate cheesecake with ganache on a chocolate cookie crust.

…maybe it is marvelous afterall!

But first, I must apologize. This blog may or may not be detailed.  I just got back from Hawaii Sunday night and apparently the jet lag is totally hitting me.  I woke up at 3:32 this morning and never went back to sleep. So I ended up going to the gym at 5:00.  Going to the gym was great – I could make a blog of that on its own, but the waking up at 3:30 was just annoying! I don’t know how I am still function now at 9:18! I am just trying to get back on my schedule. Which is bedtime at 10-10:30.

Back to baking!

This cheesecake was so fun to make, mostly because I had the help of a dear college friend – Ian! (meep!!). Ian is my friend from college with whom I had just about EVERY single class with.  We obviously both majored in Interior Design and while he headed off to the west coast after graduation, he has since moved to the UK and is working in London. So, it’s always fun to hear his European tales and catch up!  So, this was a special time in the kitchen for me – nothing better than gabbing with your friend over chocolate!

(it was late and the lighting was awful, so the pictures aren’t as fabulous as the cheesecake)

Here is what you will need: (Recipe from Joyofbaking.com)

Chocolate Cheesecake:

Crust:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) chocolate wafer crumbs

1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

12 ounces (340 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

24 ounces (680 grams) (3 – 8 ounces packages) full fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) full fat or light sour cream, room temperature

Ganache:

4 ounces (115 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, room temperature

We start with the crust, as always! We’re using some delicious chocolate wafers! Ian and I nibbled on the left overs, for sure!

Begin by crushing the crackers.  I used my hand-held cuisinart, but you could put them in a bag and roll them/smash them if you don’t have the right machine. When the granules are nice and small, all you do is add the butter (mmm, butter) and press evenly into your spring form pan. P.S. you NEED a spring-form pan for this – I don’t think you can make cheesecake with out one!

…grease your pan WELL before pressing in the cookie and butter mixture!

…place in fridge while you are making the filling.

Kimoni stopped by to tell us a thing or two. Just so you know.

Ha, silly little fuzzball.

Now for the filling!

Melt the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl ( I used glass) over a pan of simmering water – making sure the bowl is not touching the water.  Stir until smooth and set aside to cool. 

Next, with your electric mixer (or hand mixer) beat cream cheese, on medium low-speed, until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the melted chocolate and beat until fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Dont forget to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally, or as needed. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until thoroughly incorporated. 

It’s now time to remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven in case you accidently have a mess.

Bake for about 50 – 55 at 350 degrees minutes or until firm.  The center of the cheesecake will still look a little uncooked and be wobbly. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (this also helps to prevent cracking as it cools). As it cools, place in fridge with some plastic wrap.

Now the ganache!

Take the remaining chopped chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, but be careful not to burn the milk! Immediately pour cream over chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth. After is has cooled slightly, pour it over the cheesecake. Take a spoon or spatula and evenly spread the ganache around on the cheesecake. Cover and return to the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The recipes says it tastes better after a day in the fridge!

This cheesecake was made specifically for our work Christmas party! It turned out excellent! Although, my tip would be to let the cake get to room temperature (a couple hours) before cutting! It will really help!

And as a treat, I want you all the know I have begun to think of my signature and original, baked good! There is an industry event every October where designers submit and then sell their home-made items – it is my goal to create something made to order.  So my wheels are turning, I have some ideas, and I will keep you all posted, but I wont reveal what is until I have it perfected! I can’t wait – I’m pretty excited!

Bring it on 2010 – I’m going to be a blogging ‘fene!

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