I have an oven again after six weeks without. And it was my birthday Tuesday. Clearly, a cake must be made. But guys.. don’t think me blasphemous or anything.. but I’m not really a cake person. I know, ‘What do you mean you’re not a cake person?! What up with all the cake recipes on here?’ Um. Well. I really like making cakes. And cupcakes. But the eating of them.. well let’s just say I’d rather have ice cream. Or pie. or ice cream and pie. But on a birthday, I just feel like it has to be cake. Enter: Cheesecake.
Good lord I love cheesecake. Possibly more than pie. But maybe not more than ice cream. Either way, cheesecake is the most delicious form the cake can take, if you ask me about it. Which you didn’t, but I told you anyways. Cheesecake is what other cakes hope to be. It is creamy and sweet and savory and doesn’t even need any frosting to gussy it up. I just love it. Once, when I was little, we were at Boll Weevil and after a giant hamburger, fries and a shake, they asked if we wanted dessert. I wanted cheesecake. My cousin (or maybe my uncle?) bet me I couldn’t finish it all. The slice was the size of my head. I finished it all.
So the decision to make cheesecake for my birthday was not much of a decision. What kind to make, now that was difficult. Do I go with this one because it’s got brownies in it and so it must be good? Or this one because I can’t resist caramel? Or try my hand at the vanilla one I made last year all over again? Or maybe this one.. that was so good I almost made it twice in one week? Oh the choices killed me. But in the end. I think I made a good choice. Super chocolatey, rich, sweet but not overkill, oh, and, a cinch to make. Is your oven preheating yet? Good.
- 1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) chocolate cookies (this time I used cats cookies from Trader Joe’s; I’ve used chocolate graham crackers in the past, any type of chocolate wafer-type cookie will do!)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 and 1/3 cup sugar, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped. (although I used a little more because I didn’t have a scale and couldn’t measure it correctly.. also I used super dark; 72% and I think that it was aaawesome. So the darker the better here!)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 -8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine ground cookies (you can grind them in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or mallet) with the melted butter, salt, and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a buttered springform pan. (sorry.. I have no idea what size my mom’s is.. a 9 or 10 inch would probably work here..). Set in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.
- Heat a dry, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add in the remaining one cup of sugar and cook until melted and golden and smelling fabulous. Remove from heat, and add in the cream and stir while it bubbles and hisses and goes crazy. The caramel will seize up, but just place it onto low heat and continue to stir until caramel is melted.
- Remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate until smooth. Stir in the sour cream.
- In a separate bowl, (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment) beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in the chocolate-caramel mixture. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla beating well between each addition.
- Pour into the crust-lined springform, place the springform into a baking dish to catch drips. Bake in the middle rack for 45-55 minutes, or until 3 inches from the center is set, and the middle still wobbles. (To be honest, I took it out when it looked like this and I felt it could have been a bit more cooked. So next time I may cook it for an hour or maybe even an hour and ten minutes..)
- Remove from oven and set springform pan on cooling rack. Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours or until set. Undo springform pan, place the bottom on a plate, Decorate with pink icing and serve with a glass of ice cold milk! Eat and Enjoy!!