Even the name makes me daydream. There is just something about a creamy, cold cheesecake that makes it the ultimate dessert for me. Give me cheesecake, Mexican food, goat cheese, Vodka and some good bread and I’d be perfectly happy on a deserted island. Oh and a cute cabana boy to wait on me hand and foot…Sounds like my kind of life! ;oP
What? Never mind! Where was I?
Those of you who have been readers of Dianne’s Dishes know I have somewhat of an obsession with Cheesecake. I mean cheesecake has an entire category on my blog all to itself! Cheesecake should be a food group, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again!
This cheesecake takes the best of two worlds, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies and marries them together to make a fabulous overall dessert. Top the cake with some chocolate ganache and you have rich sin on a plate! A little slice of this cheesecake is more than enough at one sitting, but oh what a slice it is!
What You’ll Need for the Crust:
10-12 Back to Nature Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 stick of butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 F with the rack in the middle of the oven.
Now let’s talk about the chocolate chip cookie crust. For this crust you need a hard variety of chocolate chip cookie. A soft cookie will not work. I like the Back to Nature cookies because they are natural.
Chop the cookies until roughly the size of peas:
Stir in butter until mixed:
Press cookie mixture in to an 8 inch spring form pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:
Notes for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust: When I make a graham cracker crust from scratch I usually add a little bit of sugar to the crust. When using the chocolate chip cookies that isn’t necessary unless you really just like things sweet. You could add in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar if you wanted.
What You’ll Need for the Cheesecake Batter:
2 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
When making a cheesecake it is ESSENTIAL to make sure that your oven is preheated BEFORE you begin baking your cake so make sure your oven has preheated before you put in the cheesecake.
I like to bake my cheesecakes in a water bath, which helps keep the cheesecake from cracking that much (if at all) as it bakes. I usually just fill up my tea kettle with water and set it to boil as I’m making the crust and the filling of the cheesecake. You want enough water to come up the pan about half way when you place it in a baking dish.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until incorporated.
Next add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes slowly add flour and mix until smooth.
Wrap the outside of your spring form pan that has the crust pressed in to the bottom with aluminum foil to keep water from seeping in to your cheesecake as you bake.
Pour batter in to prepared pan:
Place pan in a deep baking dish and pour boiling water in to the dish being sure not to get any water in the cheesecake itself.
Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and crack the door of your oven (Some call this the broil position) and let the cheesecake sit untouched for another hour.
Take the cheesecake from the water bath and set on a towel to absorb moisture. Next remove the aluminum foil:
As you can see as the cake baked it pulled away from the sides of the pan a bit. Doesn’t it look great already?
Store cheesecake covered in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Notes on the Cheesecake Batter: At this point, once it’s chilled you could dig in to the cheesecake right then as is, but who wouldn’t want a bit more chocolate? There’s no such thing as too much chocolate despite what Jamison might say! ;oP
What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of butter
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Remove the ring of the springform pan and place chilled cheesecake on a plate that is big enough to catch any overflow of the ganache. Place back in the fridge until ganache is ready.
In a medium sized sauce pan melt butter in heavy cream and then bring to a simmer. Stir in chocolate chips and stir constantly until they are melted and the mixture is smooth. This takes 1-3 minutes to melt.
Once the ganache is smooth pour the mixture over the chilled cheesecake:
Chill cake for at least another hour before serving.
Notes for the Ganache: You could use milk chocolate or dark chocolate instead of the semi-sweet chips.
And as always this cheesecake is sous chef approved!
Notes Overall: This a very versatile cheesecake and you can change things here or there to your liking. Adding mini chocolate chips to the batter would be a great addition, or adding in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cocoa to make a chocolate cheesecake would be fabulous too!