Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine’s Day: The Most Romantic Dessert

By: Jonathan Miller, Food Editor

Cheesecake: one of earth’s most romantic desserts. But what happens when you add 70% bittersweet chocolate? Luxury on a fork! This cheesecake is smooth and dense, reminiscent of a New York style Cheesecake.

Deep Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves 12-16
9 oz. cream filled chocolate cookies, such as Oreo’s
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
10 oz. 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed
4 large eggs
¾ cup whipping cream
6 oz. 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend cookies in food processer until fine crumbs. Add melted butter. Process until fully incorporated. Press firmly into bottom of a 9” spring form pan. Bake in oven just until set, about 5-8 minutes. Cool completely.

Melt 70% chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool until lukewarm but still pourable. In an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a flat paddle, beat cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute. SCRAPE BOWL AFTER EACH INGREDIENT ADDITION THOROUGHLY. Add half the amount of sugar; beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add remaining sugar and cocoa powder, beat 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time; beat one minute on medium speed & scrape bowl after each egg. On low speed, with the mixer on, slowly pour chocolate in a thin stream, blend thoroughly, about 1 – 2 minutes. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake in 350°F oven until center is just about set and appears dry, about 60 minutes. Turn off oven; crack the oven door and let cool for 1 hour. Cool on cooling rack until just until room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate at least 12 hours before serving.
Chop chocolate; place in heat proof bowl. Heat cream and sugar over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Pour cream over chocolate; stir until chocolate is melted and is combined. Note: The topping mixture may appear extremely thin. It will thicken as it cools to room temperature. Whisk until lukewarm. Pour over center of COOLED cheesecake. Spread evenly over top, leaving ½” around the edges of cheesecake. Top with chocolate curls, chocolate roses or raspberries.

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