Mocha Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

Crust

  • 1 cup finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (or oreo cookies)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Filling

  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder, divided
  • 3 eight-ounce packages low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • Cocoa powder and/or chocolate-covered espresso beans for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a roasting pan filled with several inches of water on the bottom rack of the oven (see Chef’s Note). Remove the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and cover it tightly with aluminum foil; then reassemble the pan and spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the cookie crumbs with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and the melted butter or margarine. Using clean hands, press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Stir 3 teaspoons of espresso powder into 2 teaspoons of water and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 1/3 cups of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add 1 cup of sour cream and the flour–mix until well combined. Stir in the espresso/water mixture and the melted chocolate.
  4. Spoon the mixture over the crust. Bake at 165 degrees C for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the center is set but jiggles slightly. Turn off the oven and let the cake stand in the oven for 25 minutes with the door closed.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups sour cream with the remaining 3 Tablespoons sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon espresso powder. Once the 25 minutes are up, spread the mixture over the cheesecake and return the cake to the oven to let stand with the door closed for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven.
  6. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cake 8 hours or overnight. Remove the cake from the pan and garnish with a sprinkling of cocoa powder or chocolate-covered espresso beans.

chef’s notes

Springform pans are inexpensive round baking pans with a clamp. The clamp allows you to loosen the pan’s side or rim and remove the bottom so that you can easily take a cake or torte out of the pan. Traditional tinplate or steel springform pans are best for cheesecakes. Nonstick pans cause the cake to cook too fast and possibly burn.
You can make chocolate wafer cookie crumbs by breaking up the wafer cookies into chunks and pulsing them in a food processor.  The pan filled with water and placed in the oven in Step 1 will create steam, which helps keep the cheesecake moist and creamy during baking.

Version 2

Mocha cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g plain chocolate biscuits, broken
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons gelatine
  • ¼ cup just-boiled water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 375g cream cheese, chopped, at room temperature
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 180g dark eating chocolate, melted

METHOD:

  1. Lightly grease a 20cm round springform pan.
  2. Place biscuit pieces in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add butter and pulse until well combined. Press mixture over base and side of pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a jug, whisk gelatine into the boiled water along with the coffee, until dissolved. Allow to cool.
  4. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Beat in cream, then the gelatine mixture, mixing until well combined.
  5. Pour half the filling into the biscuit crust. Drizzle with half the melted chocolate, swirling with a skewer until marbled. Repeat with remaining filling and chocolate. Cover and chill overnight, or until firm.

TOP TIP

  • It’s important that the gelatine and cheese mixtures are at a similar temperature when you combine them, as this prevents lumps forming.

Version 3

mocha cheesecake chocolate crust

INGREDIENTS:

  • (18) chocolate graham crackers, crushed (about 2 cups)
  • (1/3 cup) reduced-fat butter, melted
  • (4 8-oz. packages) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • (1 cup) sugar
  • (1/4 cup) coffee liqueur
  • (1 tsp.) vanilla extract
  • (1 tsp.) instant coffee granules
  • (4 large) eggs
  • (4 1-oz. squares) bittersweet baking chocolate

METHOD:

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 9 in. springform pan with cooking spray.
    2. In a small bowl, combine graham crackers and melted butter. Press onto bottom and up the sides of greased pan. Bake 10 minutes, place on wire rack to cool. Reduce oven to 165°C.
    3. Use an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add coffee liqueuer, vanilla and dry instant coffee, beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    4. Transfer 1 cup of mixture to a small bowl, set side. Pour rest of filling into cooled crust.
    5. Place chocolate squares into a microwave-safe bowl, microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted, stirring after each cycle. Add chocolate to reserved filling, stir to combine.
    6. Add spoonfuls evenly to top of cheesecake and swirl with a butter knife. Bake 1 hour, or until almost set. Turn oven off, leaving cheesecake inside.
    7. After 30 minutes, remove cheesecake and loosen the sides with knife.
    8. Place on a wire rack, let cool 1 hour. Cover, refrigerate at least 4 hours. Once cool, remove from pan and serve.
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