Thursday, January 25, 2007

Toffee-Mocha Cheesecake

I created this cheesecake for Mom's party. It was yummy. Feel free to fiddle around with the ingredients as your tastebuds demand.

About 3 1/2 cups crushed chocolate crumbs (out of thriftiness, I use generic oreos, but chocolate graham cracker crumbs also work, and you could add some finely chopped almonds, too.)

If using generic oreos, stir in about 1/3 cup melted butter, enough to help the mixture stick together. If using chocolate graham cracker crumbs, stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter.

Press onto the bottom and 1 and 3/4 inch up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for five minutes in a 350 degree oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

three packages regular cream cheese, softened (8 oz. each)
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature, gently blended
1 additional egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coffee
1 bag Heath bits or about 2 cups crushed chocolate+toffee pieces (see recipe below)

1 cup sour cream
instant cappuccino hot drink mix OR finely-ground coffee (powder-like consistency) and sugar

Additional toffee (large-chunk homemade)

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ground coffee (NOT powder-ground). Let steep for about five minutes or until very strong. Strain the grounds out with cheesecloth and set the coffee-cream aside.

In a mixer, mix the cream cheese just until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just till combined. Add the heavy cream mixture, vanilla, and, if desired, either powder-like ground coffee or mocha cappuccino drink mix powder, to taste. (I bought a tub of mocha cappuccino mix for rolling truffles, and I just dumped in a bunch, to taste, to create a strong mocha flavor). Gently stir in one cup of fine toffee bits (either Heath bits or crushed homemade toffee).

Pour cheesecake batter into chocolate crust and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the center is almost set. (Center can be a bit soft still, but it should not be glossy.) Cool in cracked-open oven for ten minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust. Cool for one more hour and then refrigerate overnight to let the flavors ripen. Before serving, mix one cup sour cream with cappuccino drink mix OR powder-ground coffee and sugar, to taste, and top the cheesecake. Sprinkle on about 1 cup toffee bits and additional large-chunk toffee (see recipe below).

This cheesecake was delicious, but I might add a bit more cream cheese to it the next time I make it. (Perhaps another 4 oz.?) Anyway, yum. I hope you enjoy it like we did.

Place foil or a cookie sheet under the cheesecake because many springform pans leak.

Dip a knife in warm water before cutting the cheesecake, and wipe and dip again in warm water before making each cut in order to make clean cuts.

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