Thursday, August 30, 2012

Coffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze

If there's anything my brother loves it's coffee and when it came time to bake him a cake for his birthday there was no doubt in my mind that a coffee cheesecake with a chocolate crust and glaze would be perfect. Considering how long I have been baking cheesecakes it's actually surprising I have yet to make a coffee flavored one. But I guess that's not the case anymore since we all celebrated my brother's 16th birthday with the family last night and capped the evening with my cheesecake.

I really wanted to make sure that the cake had a strong coffee flavor which I achieved by adding ¼ cup of strongly brewed espresso. However I think everyone would agree that what really made the cake shine was the chocolate glaze, courtesy of my mom. Not as much anymore, do to my excessive baking, but in the past my mom used to make her famous "Chocolate Festival Cheesecake". The cake was incredibly rich and chocolatey with a chocolate graham cracker crust, chocolate cheesecake, and a chocolate glaze. I basically recreated her cake but I substituted the chocolate middle for a coffee cheesecake instead.

Everyone enjoyed the case, especially my mom and my brother as they are such coffee and chocolate lovers. In fact my mom even came home during her lunch break from work the next day to have some cake. She claimed she also came to see us but I wonder if the cake in the fridge held the bigger appeal ; )

Coffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze

For the crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • cup powdered sugar
  • cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and then transfer to an 11" springform pan. Gently press down all along the bottom and sides and then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 lbs (4 blocks) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup brewed espresso, cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for about a minute, until smooth.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, at low speed. Beat in the sugar. Scape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Beat in the sour cream and then the vanilla and coffee and mix on medium speed until everything is well incorporated. The batter will be fairly liquidy.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cooled springform pan and bake for 55 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit using a hot water bath or by placing a pan of hot water on the lowest rack beneath the cake.
  5. Without opening the oven door, turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool for 1 1/2 hours inside the oven. Afterward, remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 4 hours, though preferably overnight.
For the chocolate glaze:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter melts entirely and the glaze starts to boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer and stir the glaze as it thickens. Try to break up any clumps formed by the cocoa powder. 
  3. Take the glaze off the heat once it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon with slow trails. If desired, add more cocoa powder to create more thickness.
  4. Strain the glaze to remove any clumps and cool it before spreading it over top of the cake. 

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