I am debating starting a Baking With Travis series on this blog because my friend Travis and I got together once again last Wednesday for some baking. We endeavoured to make a chocolate cheesecake. My grandmother recommended Martha Stewart’s triple chocolate cheesecake recipe, but we made a few modifications.
- 1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Assemble a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground. Then add butter and pulse to moisten. Press crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet, bake 10 minutes, and then set aside.
- Clean food processor. Add cream cheese, sugar, and salt, and blend until smooth. Then, with motor running, add eggs, then sour cream, and finally chocolate. Blend all together until smooth. Pour filling on top of crumbs in pan.
- Place pan in a roasting pan, and place roasting pan in oven. Then pour in boiling water to come halfway up the side of the pan. Bake for 1 hour, just until set. Then turn oven off and let cheesecake sit 1 hour in oven without having opening door (to help prevent cracking).
- Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan (to help prevent cracking). Leave the cake in the pan, and cool it completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Unmold cheesecake. Let it set before serving.
- Optional: prepare chocolate ganache topping.
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Break up chocolate into pre-defined sections and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Bring cream to a boil, and pour over chocolate. Add in salt.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes without stirring (Stirring will result in ganache cooling too quickly and becoming grainy).
- Stir until smooth and shiny to break up any remaining pieces of chocolate.
- Immediately after arriving at his apartment with all of the ingredients, we realized we did not have a 9-inch springform pan, or any pan really, so Travis was lovely and went out got get a few different pan options. Meanwhile, I worked on crumbling graham crackers for the crust . . .
- We also did not have a food processor so I crumbled the graham crackers by hand. This took way longer than expected and, by the time Travis got back with the cake pans, I had only done about half of the crackers needed. He came up with the ingenious idea of putting them all in a bag and then just whacking them with the sour cream container, and this worked much better.
- The lack of food processor once again became an issue when making the body of the cheesecake because we couldn’t get the cream cheese to mix. I don’t know what microwaving actually does to cream cheese, if anything, but we microwaved it to soften it up. We also had to microwave the chocolate pieces before adding them to this for the same reason, but it worked perfectly fine.
- We also realized too late that we didn’t have a roasting pan. Luckily Travis had make baked macaroni and cheese the night before in a giant pan, so we were able to wash this out and use it. And we had baked macaroni and cheese for dinner . . . yum.
- The pan remedy was brilliant until Travis noticed a hole in the bottom. I found it hilarious at the time, but he had some Canadian Flag packing tape so we put that over the hole, hoping it would stick and hold in the boiling water.
- The tape kind of worked to seal up the hole, but we took the baking tray out halfway through the hour-long cooking in the oven, dumped the water off, put more boiled water in, and stuck it back in the oven. I don’t think the cheesecake suffered from this, and without doing this, the water would have spilled over the edges of the baking sheet and caused a real mess in the oven.
- This part was all on me: I forgot just how long it takes for a cheesecake to set in the refrigerator. To be fair though, the recipe says total time is 2 1/2 hours . . . I think not. We started making the cheesecake at about 6:30, and I left his apartment somewhere around 12am, with the cheesecake in the refrigerator for about 3 hours at that point.
- Finally, the cheesecake kind of fell apart when Travis and his brother tested it the following night, but it received a 10/10 rating for taste. Overall I think this cheesecake turned out pretty darn good given the ordeals that we encountered while making it. He and I joked at the end of making this that we could film our baking escapades and call them something like Gorilla Baking, because we keep trying out these elaborate recipes with no proper baking tools. What do you think??? Should we do it???
What is your favourite kind of cheesecake???