Sunday, July 13, 2014

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

So I never made a cheesecake.  D and I have been married 11 years, and 11 years ago as a present I got a springform pan.  It has sat in the cabinet for 11 years with me wondering if I would get the guts to make a cheesecake. Then I found this recipe.  What's odd is in 2012 I posted a German Chocolate Cake from David Lebovitz on my list of things to try.  I wouldn't have thought about it until I found this recipe.

Any way, D and I were having a party for our anniversary and I showed him this cake and he said ok.  I silently cursed myself for showing him this as it looked complicated and a lot of work.  So I said ok, and then signed us up for a 5K because having a race to do before making this cake, well, just seemed logical...haha. It actually took 2 days to make (started it Friday Night and got everything made but didn't assemble).

It took about 5 minutes to assemble and then at the party I released the springform.  I was super nervous but it came out fine.  Everyone who had some, liked it.  The only issue was the crust was a little hard.  I think this was too thick, based on my lack of expertise in ever making a cheesecake crust.

Cake Sliced: Photo by ALB
I would make again.

German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with filling adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: 10-12 servings

Crust Ingredients
1 package (about 38) chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs (oreos)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (used salted, so didn't use salt)
Small pinch of salt (didn't use)

Ganache Ingredients
3/8 cups heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (Had I read, I would have used half semisweet and half Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips, but I used 1 oz choc chips and 4 oz of the Ghirardelli 60%)

Cheesecake Ingredients
3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 fat)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
3 ounces or about 6 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted and cooled (I used semisweet)

Cake Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (This is 6TBSP)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/8 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/8 cup plus 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (This is 2.5 TBSP)
3/8 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

Make the cheesecake crust
Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). It’s hard to get the crust up that high, but keep pressing the crumbs up from the bottom with a smooth-sided glass (twisting the glass as you do so, so the crumbs don’t stick) and working them around — you’ll want it that high to hold the cake layer. Patience helps with this step.

Make the ganache
Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or heat in the microwave for about a minute, watching to ensure it doesn’t boil). Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

Make the cake
While the ganache is freezing, cut a circle of parchment paper and use cooking spray as “glue” to adhere it to a 9-inch round cake pan. Then grease the pan and the paper (Used PAM). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and coarse salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat the dry ingredients on low until combined before increasing the speed to medium and adding the egg, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan about halfway through so it’ll bake evenly. When you take the cake layer out, leave the oven preheated for the cheesecake. Let the cake layer cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a sheet of wax paper and leaving it to cool completely. Wrap the cake layer and stick it in the freezer to firm it up for assembly.

Make the cheesecake
While the cake layer is baking, mix cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, and continue mixing until combined. Add the chocolate and continue mixing until combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 55 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. The top may crack, but it doesn’t particularly matter, since you’ll be covering it anyway. Let the cheesecake fully cool. When almost cool, place it in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.

Cheesecake Filling: Photo by ALB

Make the filling
Place the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and toasted pecans in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, coats the spoon, and reads 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour this mixture over the coconut mixture and stir until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool completely (I set mine in the fridge once it was almost cool to thicken it some more.)

Everything before Assemby: Photo by ALB
Assemble the cake
Place half of the filling on top of the chilled cheesecake and spread it out. Carefully place the chocolate cake layer on top. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the chocolate cake layer. Decorate with pecans. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. When completely chilled, loosen the cake from rim of springform pan by wrapping the pan in warm dishtowels. Remove the springform pan and serve.

Final Cake before sliced: Photo by ALB

1 comment:

Christie Campbell said...

You are braver thani, Alb. I haven't made one of these yet. I also have the same issue with the crust on cheesecake. I run extremes. This looks amazing! Kuddos.