Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I had a work lunch today so wasn't able to do my "Baking Blitz" at lunchtime, and as I'm taking Thursday and Friday off to fly down to Christchurch and bake for the Merchiston High Teas I will have so much to do tomorrow I don't think it will fit in tomorrow either. So I thought I'd be super nice to my colleagues and do some baking tonight, and perhaps sneak home around lunchtime tomorrow and whisk back in with my 'lunchtime baking.' See how long it takes them to realise I couldn't possibly have made an entire cheesecake in my lunch hour (I think some of them think I'm magic anyway so they may believe!).

Since I obviously had a bit more flexibility with what I made I thought I'd go for something that takes ages - the actual process wasn't too long (though I did use every single mixing bowl in my cupboard!) but the baking takes an hour and a half and then it needs to chill for 8 hours; obviously wouldn't work in a lunch hour!

I got the recipe from What the Fruitcake?!, though it's a concept I've seen on quite a few blogs over the last few months; it works as cake or cheesecake, and I think looks pretty cool when sliced (though sadly I won't be able to show you a slice photo - or even a finished photo - tonight!).

Basically, you make the batter then split the mix in three, then mix dark, milk and white chocolate respectively into the parts. To create a layered effect, you just alternate scooping cups of the different batters into the cake tin; each scoop pushes the previous one outwards, resulting in a stripey effect when cut. I will post a photo tomorrow when we see the inside, I promise!

As I mentioned above, the process was pretty simple, though it would require a bit of elbow grease to beat the cream cheese into submission if you don't have an electric beater.

I was unable to use a water bath for this recipe as I realised part-way through making it that we don't have a roasting dish, or anything else with high enough sides and large enough to hold my cake tin. As a result my cheesecake took too long to cook and got too dark and cracked on top - none of these are real problems in terms of taste (though obviously if it burnt on top it would be!) but they do make it less pretty and also the longer cooking time can be a pest if you want to do other things but have to keep checking on an unruly cheesecake! Moral of the story; use a water bath in the oven!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
200g digestive biscuits
1/4 cup brown sugar
115g butter
1 Tbsp cocoa
900g cream cheese
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 cup cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
100g 70% dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Prepare a 22.5cm springform tin by greasing, cutting a round of baking paper to fit the bottom of it, and firmly wrapping in tin foil. The tin foil is to prevent water from leaking in when baking in a water bath, which is preferable but I was unable to do as we don't have a roasting dish.

Crush the digestive biscuits and mix with brown sugar, cocoa and melted butter to make the crust. Press into your prepared tin, evenly coating the base and sides.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well, then gradually add the eggs, beating between each addition. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix just to combine.

Melt the chocolate in separate bowls and allow to cool slightly. Separate the filling mixture into three even portions and mix in the chocolate.

Scoop about 1 cup of the dark chocolate mixture into your crust, followed by a cup of the milk mixture and then the white. Repeat until all the mixture is in the tin. Don't worry about spreading it (though if you need to when you get to the end tap the tin on the bench a couple of times to force the mixture to the edge). Cover with tin foil, place in a roasting dish of boiling water, and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until the mixture is mostly set but slightly wobbly in the middle.

Cool, then chill overnight or for 8-12 hours before serving.

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