Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

One of my favorite desserts to make - and eat - is cheesecake. Below is a recipe for Chocolate Marble Cheesecake. I have made this a couple of times before and it is absolutely heaven on a plate. This recipe is from a cheesecake cookbook I got as a gift a couple of years ago, I believe from my mom. I'll be honest, even though I have made this before, I am a little nervous about how it is going to turn out this time. The recipe says to bake for 25 minutes, which I followed, but it didn't seem set enough in the center. It was a little too jiggly, so I am hoping it firms up while it is in the refrigerator overnight. So, I would suggest baking it for more like 30 minutes. Anyway, the full recipe is below, and I will let you know the final outcome with mine.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (found in the baking aisle)
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the filling:
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 pound regular cream cheese, at room temperature (that is two 8 ounce packages, use regular cream cheese, not reduced fat and I stick with the Philadelphia name brand)
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream (again, don't go with reduced fat or fat free, it just isn't the same)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
For the crust: In a bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Pat into the bottom and partly up the sides of a greased 9-inch spring-form pan. (Go up the sides about an inch.) Bake in the oven for 8 minutes. Let cool.

For the filling: Place chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave on medium for 2 minutes, or until melted. Let cool. Place cheese and sugar in a food processor or mixer, and process or beat until blended. (I of course used my new KitchenAid mixer.) Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spoon out 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and stir into the chocolate. Pour remaining filling into the baked crust. Spoon chocolate mixture over the filling in distinct blobs. With a fork, gently swirl chocolate into the filling to marble it. Bake on a middle rack in the 325 degree oven for 30 minutes or until just barely set in the middle. Now, turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in there. Open the oven door and leave it ajar for 1 hour. The cheesecake will slowly cool, but continue to bake just a little bit more allowing it to set. I like to chill it in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, remove pan sides and cut into wedges. Serves 10.

My tip: Cheesecake has a tendency to crack on the top while baking. To prevent this, I always wrap the bottom of the pan with foil before I pour in the filling. I then place the pan on a cookie sheet that has an edge to it. I add just a little water to the cookie sheet, maybe 3/4 of a cup, surrounding the cheesecake pan ever so slightly. The water will evaporate while baking, but it keeps the air in the oven moist. Thus, preventing the cheesecake to dry out and crack.

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