VANILLA BEAN COFFEE CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Alert: this cheesecake is intensely rich and luxurious--just unforgettable. I am one hundred percent proud of it; a beautiful gift for cheesecake (and coffee) lovers everywhere. Imagine dipping Oreos into a cold vanilla latte and you are about half-way there. There aren't enough adjectives. Luscious, delectable, mad perfect. You need this. We all need this. Go.


"If you are not a fan of dark chocolate, use semi-sweet for the ganache. Milk chocolate however will be too cloying. Or skip the ganache and just shave over a few curls."

Notes: Cream cheese is Philadelphia


VANILLA BEAN COFFEE CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Ingredients: 30 Oreos, 3 tbsp. melted butter, 4 bricks (8 oz.) cream cheese, 4 eggs + 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, seeds from 1 vanilla bean, 2 tbsp. instant coffee granules, 3 tbsp. hot water, 2 tbsp. flour, 1/8 tsp. salt. For the ganache: 8 oz. chopped dark chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Serves 6-8.


1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease well a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Blitz the Oreos and melted butter together in a food processor. (Or bash them in a baggie and mix with the butter.) Press into the bottom of the pan, leaving a 1-inch lip around the perimeter.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until very smooth. Add in the sugar, beating on medium speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

4. In a measuring glass, mix the coffee granules and hot water until combined. Add into the cheesecake batter with the vanilla bean and Greek yogurt. Scrape sides to fully incorporate.

5. Beat in each egg and the yolk until combined, followed by the flour and salt. Mixture should be very smooth with no lumps.

6. Pour into springform pan. Place the pan on top of a baking sheet. Use the wet towel method stated below. Bake for 75 to 90 minutes ( 1.15-1.30 hours). Center should have a slight wobble and sides should be softly colored and stiff, with an internal temperature of 150*.

7. Turn off oven and crack the door. Let it cool 1 hour still inside the oven. Remove to counter to cool 1 more hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

8. Make the ganache: Break the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream over medium-low, watching carefully until just before boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit 2 minutes. Stir until melted.

9. Pour over the cheesecake, spreading to the edges. Some will fall down the edges, which is fine. Refrigerate once more for at least an hour to set.


Wet Towel Method: (I like this method because it does not involve a water bath, yet still provides enough steam and all-over heat for the cheesecake to cook perfectly.) Wet down two dish towels or thinner hand towels. Wring them out only a little so they are still very wet but not overly drippy. Wrap the towels around the springform pan, overlapping each other if necessary. Bake as directed. Use towels you do not care about, they will color a little in the heat.


Tips:


Once you pour the cheesecake batter into the pan, tap it a bit on the counter to dispel any air bubbles. If any rise to the surface, pop them gently with a knife before baking.


Do NOT open the oven for any reason until the time is up.

#vanilla bean #coffee #cheesecake #chocolate #ganache #luscious



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