Monday, 3 June 2013

From the ashes of a delicious fruit cheesecake, grew a decadent chocolate recipe...

Rating: Easy
Time: About 1.5 hours

So from the previous recipe, I invented a bit. Worked out well enough to get written up here, so win win for everyone I think ;) Still using the 50/50 full fat/reduced fat ingredients, but it is full of chocolate so will have a slightly higer calorie count than the previous recipe. But if you're eating chocolate cheesecake, why are you counting calories in the first place??? It is a bit rich though, so small slices only ;)

100g Unsalted butter
50g Hazelnut meal
100g Plain flour
50g Caster sugar
25g Cocoa powder (if desired - I only thought to put this in after I'd made mine, so haven't tried it. If you use this you may need to up the sugar a little, and possibly the butter by about 10-20 grams too)
A little egg white for sealing base when baking (can use some of the egg white you get from separating eggs for the filling)

Note: if you want the base to go up the sides of the tin, you'll need to double the quantities here.

250g Sour cream (low fat, room temperature)
250g Cream cheese (full fat, room temperature)
100g Caster sugar (or to taste, depending on what chocolate you use and how sweet you like things)
200g block dark chocolate (% cocoa fat is up to you, I used half 45% (which is the standard dark I can get here) and half 70% cocoa and it turned out a little rich. Next time I'd use all standard, and I'm someone who loves really dark chocolate!)
3 eggs, separated
A splash of either a chocolate liquor, or something nutty like Frangelico if desired

150g dark chocolate
50-100mL cream

So basically follow the method of the previous recipe. For those who didn't read that one, or who can't be bothered flicking back one, here it is anyway:
To make the base, combine all base ingredients in a bowl (except the egg white) and rub in the butter until your mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and you can't really see huge lumps of butter left (one day I'll take step-by-step photos and edit them into this post). Take a 23cm springform tin, give it a light spray with cooking oil and line it with baking paper. I like to cut out a base the same size as the tin, then with the tin opened line the paper around the sides. Then I close the tin, pinching the paper between the sides of the tin and the base. It might make it a little wrinkly, but is much easier to handle later. I also trim any excess to just above the level of the tin to make it easier to work with.
When you've lined your tin, press the base mixture into it. Again if you want it to go up the sides, you'll need to double the quantity.
Bake in a 150 degree oven (celcius) for 15 minutes, or until golden. Then remove from oven and brush with a little egg white to help seal it, and bake for another 5 minutes or so. Take out of oven to cool while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until as smooth as possible. Then scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in a spoon or two of sour cream, and beat again until smooth. Keep doing that until all the sour cream is in, and the mixture is silky smooth - this way tends to result in fewer lumps than what happens if you add it all together at once. Add in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. If you're using any liquor, it's best to add it at this point, while the mixer is still running and to ensure it's combined well so it doesn't make the chocolate go awful when it's added.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peak in a different bowl and set aside.
Melt the chocolate either carefully in a heat-proof bowl in a microwave (just make sure it doesn't burn) or over a double-boiler (I'm lazy so use the microwave) and while the mixer is running at moderate speed, beat the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture. It may go quite thick, but that's ok. It'll be thinner if you use liquor too though.
Stop the mixer when it's all combined and smooth, and mix in about half of the beaten eggwhites with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. You don't need to be too finicky about folding them in, if they flatten a bit that's ok. Once they're well combined, gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Doing them in 2 lots means you do lose some air from the first half, but they combine better and it makes it much easier to fold in the other half carefully. So overall I find you tend to lose less air than if you folded them all in carefully at once. Pour this mixture into the tin with the base in it, and bake in a 150 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the top is set and feels a little springy to the touch (it might wobble a bit in the middle but will firm on standing).

Once the cheesecake is cool, make the topping by melting the chocolate (again, I use the microwave) and adding the cream. Stir until well combined and glossy, and spread over the top of the cake. You could take the cheesecake out the tin and spread the topping over the top and down the sides if you didn't put the base up the sides of the tin, up to you. I just put it on the top.
The more cream you add to the topping, the softer it will set. It will get to a point where it doesn't set at all. I like it soft, as it's easier to cut, but it's up to you.
And that's it! Enjoy!

In a word? Rich

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