Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Brownie Latte Cheesecake
Warning! This cheesecake is to die for! I volunteered to make a dessert for the annual Blue and Gold Banquet aka The Cub Scouts Awards Dinner. I always jump at the chance to bake for a special event and I love trying new recipes. This may have been a bit over the top for this particular event, but I think it was appreciated by all. I also brought several of those chewy chocolate chip cookies to share with my son's den. They wiped out the cookies and raved over this cheesecake. It may be the best cheesecake I've ever had - a rich chocolatey brownie crust flavored with espresso topped with a Kahlua and espresso-flavored cheesecake topping. I added my own finishing touches by sprinkling with cocoa powder and garnishing with chocolate-cappucino sticks I found at the grocery store in the gourmet chocolate section.
Brownie Latte Cheesecake
from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Latte Cheesecake Filling
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons Kahlua
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large eggs
Make the Brownie Base
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F with the rack positioned in the center of the oven. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9X3-inch springform pan. Cut an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil around the outside of the pan. (Make sure the foil has no holes and you may want to double the foil to make sure no water seeps in from the water bath.)
In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the espresso power, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk in the sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in the flour until no traces remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Bake the brownie for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool while you make the filling. Leave the oven on.
Make the filling
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until blended. Add the vanilla, espresso mixture, Kahlua, salt, sour cream, and cornstarch and mix until well blended. At low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Scrape the batter onto the brownie base. Place the pan in a roasting pan or large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the cake in the water bath for 70-80 minutes, until the center is set but slightly wobbly (the cake will continue to set up as it cools.) Remove the pan from the water bath and cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.
To serve, slice the cake with a thin-bladed sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between each cut. Garnish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a few chocolate covered espresso beans. (Alternately, dust with cocoa powder and garnish with chocolate-capuccino sticks.)
Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.