Layered chocolate & plain batter. One of my ideas for a holiday cheesecake... remember not to whip too much air into the batter, and don't peek in the oven while it's baking to keep a constant humidity.
- 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
- 1⁄2 cup chopped hazelnuts or 1⁄2 cup walnuts or 1⁄2 cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese (Philadelphia brand, full-fat)
- 2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 -2 teaspoon lemon zest or 1 -2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1⁄4 cup flour, scant
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (Ghirardelli)
- 2 -3 tablespoons light cream
- red ribbon
- gold chocolate coins (Alternate ( Can also try chocolate & white-chocolate shavings)
- nuts (same as nuts in crust) (optional)
- cocoa, for dusting (not Dutch-process)
- Take out all cheesecake filling ingredients to bring to room temperature.
- PREPARE CRUST:.
- Mix crust ingredients and press evenly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes at 325 degrees F. Remove from oven and set aside.
- PREPARE FILLING:.
- Decrease oven temperature to 275 – 300 degrees F. Place a pan of water on the lowest oven rack and spritz the top and sides of the oven with water.
- Slowly melt chocolate, mixing with just enough cream to make a smooth consistency (use only a few tablespoons of cream). Set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy on low speed. Beat eggs in, one at a time. Incorporate vanilla, lemon juice, and flour.
- Mix half the batter with the chocolate and pour into prepared pan. Layer the plain batter on top. Bake for about 1 hour, watching very closely the last 20 minutes. Turn off oven when the sides look firm and the center is still wobbly. Leave in the oven with the door slightly propped open until the pan is cool, and then transfer to the refrigerator. Flavors peak after about 24-36 hours of refrigeration.
- TO DECORATE:.
- Lightly dust the refrigerated cheesecake with cocoa powder. Top with nuts and then gold coins. Wrap the ribbon around the cheesecake to finish.
- Enjoy !