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My mom has always taught me that when you enter another home, never come empty-handed. And especially around the holiday’s a cheesecake is a great dessert to enjoy. Nice chilly weather with family equals hot chocolate, so lets take a hot chocolate cheesecake to that famous family Christmas party.
Hot Chocolate Cheesecake
If you are craving a cup of hot chocolate, then this cheesecake is for you. This is ideal on a snowy day to satisfy anyone. The chocolate pudding can also be made with semisweet, milk, or even white chocolate.
Any chocolate crust variation
Chocolate Pudding (makes 3 cups [720 g])
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (16 g) cocoa powder
2 large eggs
21/2 cups (600 ml) milk
3 ounces (84 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) cream cheese
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
3 tablespoons (24 g) cocoa powder, sifted
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) Chocolate Sauce (page 150)
1 cup (50 g) mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC, or gas mark 4). Follow the instructions (pages 17 to 22) to make any of the chocolate crust variations. Let cool completely before adding the cheesecake batter.
To make the chocolate pudding: In a mediumsize saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa powder; whisk in the eggs and then the milk. Place over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, continue cooking for another minute. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla extract; whisk until smooth.
Pour into a heatproof bowl and cover the pudding directly with plastic wrap. Place over a bowl of ice water to cool completely. To make the cheesecake: Lower the oven to 325oF (170oC, or gas mark 3).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on low speed until softened, scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes.
Whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl, add to the mixture, and continue mixing on low, scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until there are no visible lumps. Add the chocolate pudding and mix just until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Prepare the springform pan for a water bath. Place the springform pan in a large cake pan or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan).
Pour the batter over the crust and level it with a small offset spatula. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sides of the pan). Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (the jiggly part should be about the size of a quarter).
Remove from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a sharp knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to set completely.
To unmold the cheesecake, gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up.
To garnish: Pour the Chocolate Sauce on top of the cheesecake. Using a small offset spatula, spread the sauce over the top, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border. Top with mini marshmallows, and dust with the ground cinnamon.
Yield: One 10-inch (25 cm) cheesecake
Bottom-Only Cookie Crust
1 3/4 cups (205 g) finely ground cookie crumbs (about 10 graham crackers or 32 vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, or gingersnaps)
2 tablespoons (26 g) sugar
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC, or gas mark 4). In a medium bowl, combine the ground cookies or nuts and sugar. Add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine, making sure all the butter is absorbed and the crumbs or nuts are evenly coated.
Place the mixture in a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. For a bottom-and-sides crust, use the sides of a glass to press about half of the mixture into the sides of the pan.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
This is a basic sauce that can be served with any of the cheesecakes. It is perfect to drizzle over the top of each slice before serving.
8 ounces (228 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Place the cream in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate, shake the bowl back and forth for 30 seconds, and allow to stand for 1 minute. Add the butter and whisk just until combined, as not to add too much air to the glaze. Pour over the cheesecake and allow to set until firm.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups (355 ml)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."