I spotted this Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake on Smitten Kitchen recently and, after reading the most tantalizing description, hoped an opportunity would soon present itself so I could make it. To my delight, a dinner invitation was extended to our family shortly thereafter. The cheesecake was a huge hit and several dinner guests proclaimed it to be the best cheesecake they'd ever eaten. Plan ahead, this cheesecake should be made at least 1 day ahead (or up to 4 days ahead).
I used a plain round tip to pipe the lattice design and a star tip to pipe the decorative edge.
Important Tip: Don't let the piped ganache border chill against the springform pan because the cold ganache will glue the pan and cheesecake together like cement. To avoid this, I removed the pan sides before piping, wrapped the naked cheesecake with a long strip of parchment paper, then piped the border and chilled the cheesecake until the ganache was firm before carefully peeling the parchment away. For a clean presentation, each cut I make into any cheesecake is done with a sharp knife that has been warmed with hot water and dried.
Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
makes one 10-inch cheesecake
9 ounces chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons rum (light or dark)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish
To make the crust:
Pulse cookie crumbs, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, nutmeg, and melted butter in a food processor.
Press crumb mixture evenly into a 10-inch springform pan, across the bottom and up the sides until it reaches 1/2-inch from the top of the pan. Chill until needed.
To make the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.
Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate and Kailua; rest for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups ganache over bottom and sides of chilled crust and freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.
Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for garnish.
To make the filling:
Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center position.
Add flour, rum, espresso powder, vanilla, and molasses, beat until smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
Pour filling into crust and place springform pan on rimmed half sheet pan.
Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to a cooling rack for 15 minutes while preparing the topping. Don’t turn oven off yet.
To make the topping:
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Pour evenly; return to oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to cooling rack until pretty cool, about 3 hours.
To decorate the cheesecake:
Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides and transfer cheesecake to platter.
Using a pastry bag and tips of your choice, pipe ganache in a lattice design on top of the cheesecake, and pipe a decorative border around top edge and garnish with coffee beans, if desired.
Chill until lattice is firm, about 15 minutes. Keep chilled in an airtight container.