07 August 2012


 

It's the seventh day of the month, and that means it's time to share with you another great Crazy Cooking Challenge.  In this challenge, all the participants make and blog about the same dish each month.  Each blogger is to post a unique version of whatever that month's dish is.  This month's assigned dish was cheesecake.  So we were to find a great cheesecake recipe, make it, and blog about it.


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I was super excited about this challenge because I love cheesecake.  It's probably my all-time favorite dessert.  I love everything about it: it's rich and decadent, has a smooth and creamy consistency, and it's so versatile.  It's good just plain, with berries, or with a multitude of other flavors, including chocolate, of course.  You definitely feel like you've had dessert when you're done with a slice of cheesecake.  It drives me nuts when people (usually skinny people), say that they don't like cheesecake because it's just too rich, or it's just too sweet.  Dessert is supposed to be rich and sweet!  To me, that's like saying, "I don't like that steak because it's just too tender and juicy."  Yes, I hate it when people complain about dessert being too sweet.  I'm just not one of those people who can plop some whipped cream on fresh berries and call it dessert.  I wish I was, but nope, I'm not!

I have made a cheesecake from scratch before, but it was years ago.  I think it was when my mom graduated with her bachelor's degree in 1996.  Maybe.  Anyway, it's been so long that I don't remember when it was.  So I started looking around to see which recipe to make.  There were so many that I wanted to try.  My first thought was to make Martha Stewart's margarita cheesecake, but then this other one caught my eye, and there was no turning back!  It's from Taste of Home, and it's a double-layered cheesecake.  One layer is rich chocolate, and the other a creamy coffee flavor.  It was topped with a chocolate ganache and garnished with chocolate-covered coffee beans.  It looked like heaven on a plate!  So I had to make it.  It did not disappoint, and I was very pleased with how mine turned out.  Here's my slight adaptation.

Layered Mocha Cheesecake

Ingredients:
1½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
3 packets Starbucks Via instant espresso
1 tbsp hot water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
½ cup flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter
1 (2.5 oz.) package chocolate-covered coffee beans, about 48

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat a 9” springform pan with baking spray and place on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18” square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and ¼ cup butter; press onto the bottom of prepared pan. In another bowl, mix the instant espresso, hot water, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.

Divide batter in half. Stir 2 cups melted chocolate into one portion; pour over crust. Stir coffee mixture into the remaining batter; spoon over chocolate layer. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1” of hot water to larger pan.

Bake for about 90 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen side from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove rim from pan. For glaze, in a microwave, melt remaining ½ cup chocolate chips and 3 tbsp butter; stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake. Place coffee beans around the outside edge. 

Makes 16 servings.

I used decaf Via for this.  I'm so sensitive to caffeine that even the caffeine in the chocolate affects me, so definitely decaf for me.  If you are making this for mixed company, I would suggest using decaf.  Three packages of Via is a lot of coffee, so there will be tons of caffeine if you use regular.


I could go on and on about how amazing this cheesecake is, but I think I'll just let the pictures do the talking!




 It was so pretty I almost didn't want to cut into it. . . .almost.



This is actually a double piece, but I wanted a substantial chunk of it to show you.  The coffee beans serve a  double purpose: They make it really easy to cut the cake into equal portions.  I fit 48 coffee beans around the edge, so that means that you will get 16 pieces if you make a cut every 3 coffee beans.  That's kind of neat!

I was wishing we had some family visiting the weekend I made this, to help us eat it.  Not that we didn't want to snarf the whole thing, but you saw that ingredients list, with the FOUR packages of cream cheese in it!  Thankfully, some friends of ours just came home with a new baby, and they had some family staying with them, so we were able to give away almost half of it to them.  We had no problems taking care of the rest. :)

Keep this recipe in mind the next time you want to wow some people with a great cheesecake.  It really was very easy to put together.  And check out all the other great cheesecakes below!



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23 comments:

  1. Lesa, you must have been thinking of me when you made this, I certainly would have had no problem helping you eat it! I love chocolate and coffee together but your right about all that caffeine, definitely not good for trying to get to sleep later. Wonderful choice! Hugs.

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  2. Your photos are gorgeous!  That cheesecake looks and sounds absolutely wonderful!

    I love the Crazy Cooking Challenge, so much fun to meet new bloggers and discover new dishes!  Happy CCC

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  3. melissamaynard_826August 7, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    What a fantastic recipe.  I love the layered look! Great CCC pick!  I'm #16. :)

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  4. LovebakesgoodcakesAugust 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    What great combo! I'm partial to anything with chocolate :) I'm #9 ... I'd love for you to stop by and check out my cheesecake!

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  5. Look at the chocolate swirled on top, beautiful! Definitely making this for my coffee loving husband. Great pick! -Kelly @ Semi Homemade Mom

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  6. That looks so fancy! Yum!!

    Stopping by from CCC #18 - I pinned, tweeted, stumbled, and FB'd your cheesecake :)
     

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  7. Gosh, this looks so rich and amazing!  Simply gorgeous!

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  8. Wow, this is both gorgeous and delicious! Perfect choice!!! CCC #48

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  9. This is one of my all time favorite TOH recipes! 
    Cheesecake is a favorite dessert at our house too.

    I made a Rolo Cheesecake.

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  10. Your cake looks amazing, please send me a slice I'm drooling.  Great recipe and gorgeous looking.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my CCC entry: #6   Mini Cheesecake Bites. Lisa~~Cook Lisa Cook

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  11. Words Of DeliciousnessAugust 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Your cheesecake looks amazing. I love all that chocolate. 

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  12. This looks like cheesecake heaven!

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  13. oh! my your clicks are so beautiful just as the cake is..., chocolate and coffee heavenly, CCC#75

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  14. I love your pictures! So yummy. The candy boarder around the cake is cute as well! #40

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  15. mmmm I love coffee and chocolate and this sounds so yummy especially with the chocolate covered coffee beans!

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  16. Your cheesecake is beautiful! I love the chocolate covered coffee beans around the edge! Looks delicious too!

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  17. Lesa, what a stunning cheesecake!!  Great job!!!

    ~Lauren 

    Stopping by from #64 - Individual Biscoff Cheesecakes

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  18. This looks almost too good to eat! I bet it tastes fantastic! Stopping by from CCC#12. 

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  19. You've captured a gorgeous photo of an amazing looking cheesecake. I would die for a piece of this right now! Thanks for stopping by (I'm #34)!

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  20. Hi Lesa , this looks really good! Infact after I went through the taste of home recipe I wanted to see a pic from someone who had tried and tested the cake. And here was your's even better than the original! I plan to bake it in the next couple of days to take to a party and the host is coffee lover. Well I don't drink coffee so wanted to know 1) where did you get those coffee granules from, starbucks? or the regular grocery? 2) I see the original has 1/4 th cup flour while you have used 1/2 , can you tell me why? 3) which brand of chocolate chips and coffee covered chocolate did you use? I have never seen the latter before. And yes I agree with you when people complain about a dessert being too rich or too sweet :-). Please do reply soon cause this will help me shop for my ingredients soon and you can see I am seriously interested. Thanks in advance

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  21. Sunny, thank you so much for finding me and for your comments and questions. Let me answer those questions for you. 1. You can buy the Starbucks Via at any Starbucks store OR in the regular grocery store in the coffee aisle. I've bought it at both places in the past. 2. I honestly don't know about the flour measurement discrepancy. I don't recall needing to adjust it, so my best guess is that it is a typo. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. 3. I usually buy store-brand chocolate chips or whatever is on sale. I got the chocolate-covered coffee beans at a coffee shop chain called Biggby. Starbucks used to carry them, but don't anymore. If you don't have Biggby in your area, try some other local coffee shops or specialty candy stores (like you sometimes see in the mall). I hope I have answered all of your questions. Thanks again for your lovely comments. Good luck with the cheesecake and please let me know how it turns out.

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  22. i love to try recipes with mocha, yummy cheesecake
    Found you through "my taste".. you have really a nice blog.. I think I should learn from you :) Just followed your site, glad if you follow me back :) try to stay in touch dear

    Monu
    Recipes Passion

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