Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with Ganache (Serves 12)
Copyright 2007, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Courtesy of Food Network
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee
1 3/4 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
For the ganache:
¼ pound semi-sweet chocolate
¼ cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust, place the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cinnamon in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until combined. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, chop the bittersweet chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the espresso and stir until just melted. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and almond extracts and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, and the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door opened wide for 1½ hours. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature, until completely cooled.
For the ganache, finely chop the semi-sweet chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the cream and stir until just melted. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the cheesecake.