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Espresso Cheesecake 

click to enlarge Espresso Cheesecake - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Espresso Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

1½ c. of your favorite nuts (I do pecans, almonds, walnuts ... yum), chopped finely

c. sugar

c. butter, melted

Filling:

4 oz. heavy cream

2-3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground (we use the best from locally roasted Colorado Coffee Merchants, the Ümpire Estate brand)

3 lbs. cream cheese

1 lb. sugar

12 oz. eggs

Directions

For crust:

You can put as many nuts in as you want, in order to make as thick of a crust as you'd like. You just need enough sugar and butter to hold it together when you make a tight fist. Please, a little more butter in your life won't hurt anything! Press into a 10-inch, parchment-lined cake pan. Toast at 350 degrees until you have a golden brown crust.

For filling:

Scald the cream and espresso together. Again, the amount you use is based on the concentration you'd like. (But if it's looking a little like a paste, add more cream.) Let sit while you start the batter.

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Even though it may not look like it, this will fit into your 6-quart KitchenAid mixer — trust me. Before you add the eggs, the cream cheese should be smooth and lump-free. It takes a while. Then add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition, and incorporating completely. Now, you may want to let a couple eggs jump in together — but don't, or you'll undo all of that smoothing out you just worked on and end up with lumpy, inconsistent batter. Once all of the eggs are in, you should have a nice smooth batter. Do not worry if you end up with a few small lumps — they are still tasty.

Strain the espresso grounds out of the heavy cream into a small bowl and mix the flavored cream together with about 10 percent of the cheesecake batter. Place the remaining 90 percent of the batter into the pan. Then plop spoonfuls of the espresso batter on top and swirl in with a spoon.

Place in a water bath (this can be a 9-by-13-inch pan or even a 12-inch round cake pan). Bake at 300 degrees for about one hour, until the batter moves with Jell-O-like consistency when you tap the side. The top should be golden brown.

Once cooled, I put it in the freezer overnight, then warm the bottom on the stove, and with a few light love taps, it should slide right out. If not, loosen the edge with a knife. Serves 4 to 16, depending on how it's cut.

Aftertaste

Once you discover how good this nut crust is, you'll understand why I love this recipe. Then the cheesecake itself is so rich and creamy — it screams comfort food. The coffee flavor brings me back to the days when we made coffee ice cream with Mom.

— Submitted by Sweet Daphne Confections pastry chef/proprietor Megan Walter

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