Friday, March 27, 2015

Chocolate Truffle Mint Cheesecake

Don't you just want to dive into the middle of this, head first, mouth open!  Or roll face first in it, not unlike the mayor in the movie "Chocolat" who is an exemplary citizen of his French village and a devoted Catholic observing Lent, who is tempted beyond endurance by the new chocolate shop window display. As the saying goes, "One bite is too many and a thousand is not enough" and after a chocolate nibble, the Comte de Reynaud finds himself rolling about in the chocolate confections, stuffing them into his mouth as quickly as a space becomes vacant and finally, passes out on an overdose of cacoa and sugar!  ( I always have an urge to make a chocolate dessert like this one after watching that movie.)  And if you, like he, would find it a violation of what you are giving up for Lent, or a serious infraction to your diet restrictions, check back at this recipe in a couple of weeks - but then you aren't forbidden from looking at chocolate!

Chocolate Mint Truffle Cheesecake
2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
3 tab. sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. peppermint extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate - 60%
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup cream

-Mix crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press into 9 inch springform pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

-  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt chocolate in cream over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes. 

-In mixing bowl, combine and mix until smooth, cream cheese, sugar and mint extract.  Add eggs one at a time to cream cheese mixture and beat just until smooth after each. (Do not overbeat as this can cause cracks to form in your cheesecake as it bakes.)  Stir chocolate/cream into other mixture until blended.  Pour batter into cooled crust.

-Bake at 350 degree fro 20 - 25 minutes or until just set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa,
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tab. sour cream

-Mix cream , sugar and cocoa in mixing bowl with wire whip until sugar is incorporated.  Chill with beater in the cream for 2 hours.  Remove from fridge and whip in mixer until almost stiff.  Add vanilla and salt.  Continue to beat until very siff, just short of butter consistency.  Stir in sour cream and spread topping on cool pie.  Garnish cheesecake with chocolate curls and mint sprigs. Chill well before serving, at least 2 hours.

Persnickety P.S.:

**Make sure eggs and cream cheese are at room temperature before combining,to prevent little lumps of cream cheese in your final product.  Because this is a truffle cheesecake, it should be absolutely smooth as silk and creamy.  If your cream cheese isn't ready when you are, unwrap from foil wrapper and zap in the microwave for 30 - 45 seconds until softened.  You can also soak eggs in warm water when in a hurry to take the chill off.

**Chocolate wafer cookies are available in most stores under the brand name of Famous Chocolate Wafers, but if you can't find them, use Oreos.  Twist the cookie layers off and with a knife, scrap off the filling into another bowl.  (For some reason children love this job and I always find when they are finished that there aren't as many cream centers in the bowl as there should be.) Then use the chocolate wafers to make the crumbs.

**Bake the cheesecake only for the length of time indicated.  It should be smooth and creamy in the center not set up and cakey-textured as in a New York Style Cheesecake.  The center of a Lindor truffle should come to mind when you bite into it - thus the name "Truffle Mint".

**For the 60% chocolate, Ghiradelli's Bittersweet Bar (America's Test Kitchen taste test winner)  is recommended and is readily available.

**To make chocolate curls,  place a solid square of milk or semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave for 20 - 30 seconds.  With a potato peeler, or sharp paring knife, pull along an edge of the chocolate, letting the chocolate curls drop onto the top of the cheesecake, or onto a piece of parchment paper to use later.  For bigger curls, use a bigger block of chocolate, often available only in specialty grocery stores.

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