Friday, September 21, 2007

Cheesecake Goodness

About three years ago I was poking around on the Hershey web site when I found an utterly fantastic recipe for a three layer cheesecake made with Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips. I printed it out, gave it a try and was impressed by the end result. It's a bit fussier to make than my regular cheesecake, but it is well worth the effort.

I've copied the recipe verbatim from the Hershey web site and have posted it below. Any modifications are marked by asterisks will be detailed below the recipe (you know I can't help but tweak anything I bake).

HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Layered Cheesecake

CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST (recipe follows)*
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, divided**
1/2 teaspoon shortening(do not use butter, margarine, spreads or oil)

1. Prepare CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST. Heat oven to 350° F.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and salt, beating until well blended.

3. Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Place remaining chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1-1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted when stirred.

4. Gradually blend 1-1/2 cups cheesecake batter into melted chocolate. Remove 2 cups chocolate mixture; spread in bottom of prepared crust.

5. Blend additional 2 cups cheesecake batter into remaining chocolate mixture; spread 2 cups of this mixture over first layer in springform pan. Stir remaining cheesecake batter into remaining chocolate mixture; spread over second layer.

6. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, immediately loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature.

7. Place reserved chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle over top of cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate several hours until cold. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.

CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST: Stir together 1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers), 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa; stir in 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter or margarine. Press mixture onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan.

*I did not use the suggested crust, instead I went for my Oreo cookie crumb crust instead. I have the ingredients on hand and I think it makes a better crust:
1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
¼ cup sugar (divided)
¼ cup melted butter

In an ungreased springform pan, combine the Oreo cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Once the mixture is blended press it down to line the bottom of the pan.

**This time around I could not find Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips so I substituted with Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Bummer I was forced to upgrade the chocolate.

Again, it was divine. We had company over last Sunday and this was dessert. Everybody loved it. It is both visually appealing with the three layers and is simply delicious to eat. I had a small problem when drizzling the chocolate on top, a big glob of chocolate plopped onto the top of the cheesecake. So ended up pouring the rest on top and raking through the chocolate with a fork to make it look nice. Once it solidified it looked great.

No comments: