Nov 19, 2014

Chocolate Cheesecake

Cook's Country has an outstanding recipe for a rendition of the standard cheesecake – Milk Chocolate Cheesecake. It is a great addition to any special or holiday meal for dessert.
Part of the ingredients is an American historical cookie called the Oreo, originally called the Oreo Biscuit when it was introduced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, founded in 1898 and later changed to Nabisco. Its corporate office opened in the world's first skyscraper building in Chicago in the same year. Introduced by Adolphus W. Green, who died in 1917 at the age of 73. The Oreo, like the Barnum's Animals crackers has been an historical tradition in the United States. The Oreo was made to compete with the Hydrox cookie made by the Sunshine Company, introduced in 1908. The modern-day Oreo, known as the 'sandwich cookie' was developed in 1952 by William A. Turner, when the company name changed to Nabisco.
With that tidbit of historical information aside, here is the recipe for Milk Chocolate Cheesecake:
16 Oreo sandwich cookies, broken into rough pieces
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/2-cup (3.5 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped [Dove seems to be the best milk chocolate]
1/3-cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Process cookies and 1 tablespoon sugar in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and pulse until combined, about 6 pulses. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan and press firmly with bottom of a dry measuring cup into an even layer in bottom of pan. Bake until fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Combine 6 ounces chocolate and cream in medium microwaveable bowl and microwave at 50% power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 60 to 90 seconds. Let cool for 10 minutes, In small bowl, whisk cocoa, salt and remaining sugar (1/2-cup) until no lumps remain.
  4. Using a mixer with paddle, beat cream cheese and cocoa mixture at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium-low, add chocolate mixture, and beat until combined. Gradually add eggs, one at a time, until mixed, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla and give batter a final stir by hand until no streaks of chocolate remain.
  5. Pour cheesecake mixture into cooled crust and smooth top with spatula. Tap cheesecake gently in springform pan on counter to release any air bubbles. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, making sure it does not touch cheesecake and shiny-side facing down. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then remove foil. Continue to bake until edges are set and center registers 150 degrees with a quick-read thermometer, and jiggles slightly when shaken, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely on wire rack, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate in pan until cold, about 8 hours. Cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, if you want to make in advance of holiday feast.
  7. To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan, slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, and slide cake onto a serving platter.
  8. Microwave remaining 2 ounces of chocolate in small microwaveable bowl at 50% power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 60 -90 seconds. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a small zipper-lock bag, if you do not have a baker's piping bag, cut small hole in corner, and pipe chocolate in thin zigzag pattern across top of cheesecake. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use a warm knife, cut into wedges, and serve.
You can top and dress up the cheesecake wedge servings with sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or cherries in a dab of whipped cream. The recipe serves 12.

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