If you’ve never baked a cheesecake before, promise me you’ll give this recipe a try! It isn’t difficult and you get incredible results. Just be sure to bring all of the ingredients to room temperature before you start. This will guarantee that the ingredients will blend easily with one another and you won’t over mix it.
The cheesecake is baked in a gentle water bath to keep the texture silky, creamy and crack free. I highly recommend that you check your springform pan for leaks before you begin this recipe. Nothing is worse than having water seep into your cheesecake and ruining all of your hard work. Just double wrap aluminum foil around the up the sides of the springform pan and set in a roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Make sure that the pan is water tight.
Many recipes will tell you to bake a cheesecake until the cheesecake is set but wobbly in the center, however, I find the best way to check for doneness it to insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the cheesecake. You’ll know the cheesecake is done when the thermometer registers 145 to 150 degrees. The cheesecake is then cooled slowly in the water bath until the water is just warm.
What’s your favorite type of cheesecake?
Yield: One-9inch cheesecake, serving 12 to 16
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos cookies (about 8 ounces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 additional tablespoon, melted, for greasing the pan
For the Cheesecake:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks and left to soften at room temperature, about 30 minutes
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
For the Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces dark chocolate
Shaved chocolate for serving, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with ½ tablespoon of melted butter.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process Oreos into fine crumbs. With the machine running, drizzle melted butter and process until combined and butter is evenly divided. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside to cool on wire rack. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
3. Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in stockpot (for the water bath).
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed to break up and soften, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl with spatula. Add salt and sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add cocoa powder and flour and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape down bowl. Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add sour cream and Bailey's and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give final stir by hand.
5. Brush the sides of the springform pan with the remaining ½ tablespoon melted butter. Set springform pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil; set wrapped springform pan in roasting pan. Pour filling into springform pan and smooth surface; set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees, and continue baking until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken, and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Set roasting pan on wire rack and use paring knife to loosen cake from sides of pan. Cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
6. To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Pour over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with chocolate shavings if desired. Refrigerate until set. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
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