Sunday, December 6, 2009
SMS: Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake (bars) with(out) Blackberry Glaze
This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays treat is Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with (or in my case without) Blackberry Glaze. It comes from the “Sunday Supper’s Grand Finale” section of the book and it is the group’s grand finale for 2009. We’ll be taking a short break for the holidays and returning in January. I am not a huge fan of cheesecake, but they’re generally appreciated by others and I knew Josh would be seeing his friends this weekend, so I made an entire recipe. This recipe revealed a couple deficiencies in my seemingly well-equipped kitchen. It was meant to be baked in an 8-inch springform pan, which I don’t have. I was going to scale up the recipe a bit and bake it in my 9-inch springform pan, but then I realized I didn’t have a roasting pan that would fit the 9-inch pan for its water bath, so I made cheesecake bars instead. This ended up working really well, since bars are more portable and I didn’t have to worry about water leaking into my pan, since they were baked in a standard 8x8 square pan (with 1.5 times the amount of crust) rather than a springform pan.
I have to say, I think this is a contender for “richest recipe I’ve ever made.” Seriously: a chocolate crust, chocolate on top of the crust, and half a pound of chocolate in the cheesecake, not to mention a healthy dose of cream. We ended cutting the cheesecake into 16 squares and even small squares seemed pretty intense. The recipe comes together fairly quickly and easily, but it does involve a bit of planning, as it bakes at two different temperatures (three if you count the initial baking of the crust), and then is supposed to sit in the oven for an hour after its second bake. I got as far as baking the crust on Friday night, then realized I would be up much later than I wanted to be if I continued the project, so the rest got left until Saturday. I actually had to defer the oven monitoring to Josh yesterday afternoon since I had an appointment, and he did a great job – the cheesecake baked and set perfectly!
I thought the crumbly chocolate hazelnut crust was superb, I might secretly scrape some cheesecake off a bar or two and just eat them as chocolate cookies. Josh liked the bars a lot and rated this recipe an 8.5 for Deliciousness. I give it a 3.7 for Effort, for an EDR of 2.29. Many thanks to Shandy of Pastry Heaven for selecting this decadent treat. You can find the recipe here on Shandy’s site and visit the SMS blogroll to see what the other bakers thought of this dessert.