Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grandpas Favorite Chocolate Cheesecake

This is serious adult cheesecake meant for mature palates. It's not sweet. It's got a deep complex and rich bittersweet chocolate flavor and is tangy and sour (like cheesecake is supposed to be) with a welcoming sweet cocoa crust. It's the James Bond of cheesecakes. It doesn't mess around and it just so happens to be my Grandpa Grillo's favorite. The story goes like this; One day my Grandma went over to help a neighbor out who's husband was sick. As a thank you the woman brought my Grandma this chocolate cheesecake and they both flipped over it and asked for the recipe.

I am right at the tail end of making up my menu selections for Sugar Me Sweet (my new cake and pie business...sugarmesweetcakes.com) but I still had to make this cheesecake to make sure the recipe still worked since it's been a couple years since the last time I made it. My Grandma is out of town visiting Napa Valley, CA with a friend of hers so I thought it was the perfect time to invite my Grandpa, over and to make his favorite cheesecake for dessert. He came and ended up bringing us some very nice wine and we spent a great evening out on the deck eating and talking. A win, win situation. The highlight of the night, of course was the cheesecake in all it's chocolate glory. How could it not be? Homemade cheesecake is no small feat, especially one with NO cracks, yes I said no cracks thankyouverymuch and I'll show you how to do it too. Cheesecake is very high maintenance as far a desserts go. It's not hard to make, but it gets finicky in the follow up. Turning the oven to high, turning it back down to low, cooking it for a long time, then turning the oven off, but leaving the cheesecake in there with the door ajar for exactly 30 minutes. Then theres the cooling. You leave it at room temp for a while. Then you have to refrigerate it overnight to get it to set up properly which means you have to plan in advance. Like I said...It's not hard, you just have to make sure you have most of the day at home to dedicate to it. Ohhh, but it's worth it and everybody likes cheesecake and chocolate don't they? I'm telling you even if they don't (I'm going to confess, that I don't really enjoy cheesecake too often) they will like this.

Grandpa's Favorite Chocolate Cheesecake
1 box chocolate teddy grahams (or chocolate wafers)
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz semi sweet chocolate
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sweetened whipped cream, for serving
preheat oven to 450
Process teddy grahams is food processor until finely ground (or crush manually) Add in the butter and cinnamon and mix well (if crumbs are not wet enough, add more butter. they should stick together when squeezed in your hand) Press crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9" springform pan. Chill in the refrigerator, don't bake. Melt chocolate in a double broiler or in a bowl in the microwave heated in 30 second intervals until melted. In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar and then add eggs and egg yolk one and a time beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate, cocoa and vanilla blending thoroughly. Lastly, beat in the sour cream. Pour mixture into the crust (it will fill the pan) and place in the 450 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. Remove the cake from the sprinform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.
Serve with whipped cream
Make sure to follow the cooking and cooling directions exactly for a crack free cheesecake!