Yeah. Those three words. All in one sentence. Not a joke. This was, hands down, the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. And that’s saying something because I am somewhat of a cheesecake freak and I have eaten a dang lot of cheesecake in my life. But this one. Oh boy. It’s something else.
It’s a cookie crust that is so much better than a cookie crust. Because it has extra chocolate and sugar and nutmeg and butter and it’s heavenly. And then its basically fudge. Well, it’s chocolate ganache. But it’s more than I’ve ever had in one sitting. And then it’s cappuccino cheesecake with three, let me repeat, three bricks of cream cheese in it. And rum. and molasses. and man I wish I hadn’t eaten the last piece already. But it’s not even over yet. Because on top of that, it’s a heavenly sour cream layer, and then it’s covered with even more ganache. I swoon just thinking about it.
This is what all cheesecake aspires to be. And like any good cheesecake, it tastes even better the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Oh man. If you can make it last until day four, trust me, you won’t regret it. So please, find yourself an excuse, or a friend, or really just a springform pan and you go and you make this. Don’t even try to count the calories or think about your hips, just do it. And when it’s time to cut into that cake, assure everyone else that a one inch slice is adequate. So that you can take home the rest. and eat a three inch slice for breakfast. You’ll be glad you did. Promise.
I made several changes to the recipe on smittenkitchen, and she had already made changes to the original. So feel free to check out all three of the versions, and decide what ratios of what parts you think sounds most delicious. Also note, this cake takes quite some time to make. It’s not hard at all, but it does take time. It also tastes about 1000 times better the second day, so it’s a good idea to make this a day ahead of time. (I made it the day we cut into it..didn’t regret it but next time I’ll make it one day earlier. you should too).
- 8oz chocolate graham crackers (about one and a half sleeves of them)
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- pinch of nutmeg
- 5 tbsp butter, hot and melted
- 10 oz chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 tbsp corn syrup
- 24oz cream cheese (3 8-oz packages) very soft
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp rum
- 3 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp molasses
- 3 large eggs room temperature
Sour Cream Topping
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- For the crust: In a food processor, blitz the graham crackers until finely ground. Add in the chocolate, nutmeg and brown sugar and blitz until well combined and all in small pieces. Transfer to a small bowl and add in the melted butter. Stir to combine, then press into a 9-inch springform pan all around the bottom and up the sides to about 1-inch from top of pan. Set aside.
- For the Ganche: In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form. Once bubbles form, remove from heat, add in chocolate, espresso powder and corn syrup, and whisk until smooth. This should make approximately two cups of ganache.
- Pour 1 cup of ganche into the crust and set into freezer for half and hour to set. Cover the rest of the ganache and set aside.
- For the Cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a wooden spoon and your buff arms), cream together the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until soft and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until combined. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the rum, espresso powder, vanilla, and molasses until the espresso is dissolved. Pour this into the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir to combine between each one.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the top of the cold ganache. Set on a baking sheet with a lip (or if, like me, your baking sheets don’t actually fit in your oven without being tilted, just put down some foil on the rack to catch drips) and bake until top is puffed and browned and the center jiggles only a little. (NOTE: The recipe says this should only take one hour. I turned down the heat a bit since my oven runs hot and at 20 minutes it looked like it was starting to get overdone at the edges, but mine took nearly 2 hours to bake. So I think the timing of this will vary quite substantially by oven. Also mine was still super jiggly when i took it out, but it set up just fine.)
- Once ready, remove from oven but leave heat on. Set aside for 15 minutes or so while you prepare sour cream topping.
- For sour cream topping: Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until sugar is dissolved. Pour on top of the hot cheesecake and set back in oven for 10-20 minutes until nearly set.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Set cooling rack (with cheesecake on it) into refrigerator to cool for at least 3 hours. I let mine go for about 5.
- Once cooled and set, slide a thin knife (I always use an icing spatula for this; it works well because it’s so long an flexible) around the edges to loosen from pan. Remove sides of pan.
- Put Remaining ganache into a piping bag with a small star tip. (If your kitchen is warm like mine, your ganache will probably need to be refrigerated for 15 minutes or so before piping or it will be too runny). Pipe diagonal lines onto the top of the cake, and then repeat in the other direction. I ran out of ganache before I could finish the edges, but ideally they would be really cute stars or rosettes or something. Mine was just smeared chocolate. Nobody noticed the difference.
- Let sit in fridge for as long as you can stand it before eating. I promise you, if you make this cake the day before you plan to eat it, you will be glad you did as it tasted infinitely better the second day.
- Eat and enjoy with a HUGE glass of milk!!