I told you last time that I started a fitness program recently. It's moving along. I'm eating healthy and exercising and all the normal jazz that goes with such a thing. Every day starts out promising, and every night ends with a resolve to keep going tomorrow. What is helping me get through the hard days, the ones where I'm craving sweets, or where I'm feeling lazy and want to go out to eat, are a combination of things: chewing gum, and eye candy. Well, I suppose a little will power and determination too, but mostly, chewing gum and eye candy.
Tonight, I present one of those pieces. This is actually a cake I made someone for Christmas, but hadn't gotten around to posting. Bonus! I get to relive the joys of baking, without the temptation of licking the bowl at the end. I'm also not a huge fan of either Baileys or baked cheesecake, which helped at the time. But it looks pretty, doesn't it? And I was assured, by many taste testers, that if you happen to enjoy Baileys and cheesecake, this one's a slice of heaven.
Take a bite, for me.
Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes: 1 9-inch springform
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham (or chocolate cookie) crumbs
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped small
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
As the oven is preheating, slip a 9"x13" casserole dish half-filled with water onto the second rack below where your cheesecake will bake. This produces a water bath (necessary to keep the cheesecake from cracking) and helps collect any potential drips that fall from the springform, saving you from some heavy-duty oven cleaning later.
Grease your springform pan to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, mix together the
cookie crumbs, powdered sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa from the crust ingredients list. Add melted butter
and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of the 9-inch
springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and
flour. Beat at medium speed until blended and smooth, being careful not to over-mix. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream, mixing on low speed
until evenly blended. Pour filling onto baked crust.
Place the cheesecake in the oven on the shelf above the water bath,
and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250
degrees, and continue baking for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack with a piece of wax paper or a baking sheet beneath it to catch the drips from the ganache.
With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan.
To prepare the ganache, place the dark chocolate in a
bowl. Then heat the cream (or half and half) in a small saucepan over
medium-low heat until it is almost boiling. Remove from heat,
and pour over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Then stir
until the chocolate has melted and has mixed in well with the cream. Pour over
the top of the cheesecake, then let set. Chill for a few hours before serving.
Gimme Some Oven.