Friday, August 03, 2007

I made chocolate cheesecake this morning for a friend's birthday tomorrow. When I asked him what his favorite cakes were he said he loved cheesecake and chocolate cake. So I said, "what about a chocolate cheesecake?" and he looked at me like I was nuts and said " I don't think that would taste very good, do you?" Honey, he doesn't know what he's in for. I used Swiss Bittersweet chocolate and added the zest from one orange to give it some umph.

Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees.

First, you take a package of chocolate wafers, crushed and a 1/2 stick of melted butter and combine to form the crust. You then pour that mixture into the bottom of a well greased 9" springform pan, tamp down and chill until needed.

Then take 1 cup of heavy cream and scald over med-high heat...take off heat and cool for a few minutes then add 8-10 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. Obviously, the better the chocolate the better the flavor. I used Lindt bittersweet. Stir until melted and then beat until cool and light in texture.

Take five egg yolks at room temp (Save the whites!) and combine with 1/2 a cup of sugar and beat until thick and lemon colored...make sure the mixture forms a ribbon when it pours off a spoon. Combine chocolate and egg mixture and set aside.

Put 1 lb softened cream cheese, 1 cup ricotta, 1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and the zest of one orange in a large bowl and cream until smooth. Fold in the chocolate mixture.

Take the 5 egg whites, add a pinch of both salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.

Pour into prepared springform pan and then place pan in a roasting pan. Fill roasting pan halfway up the side of the springform pan with cold water and place in the center of the slow oven.

Cook for 1 and 1/2 hours and turn the oven off without opening the door (please don't peek) Let the cheesecake sit for 1 hour in the oven and then take out to cool. When cooled completely, wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.

Top with raspberries or strawberries and amaze your friends.


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