Cheesecake lovers unite. Boy, do I have the cheesecake recipe to share with you. This is by far one of my favorites! I love making it for family, I love making it when we are hosting guests, and I especially love making it as a dessert when we go to dinner parties. It’s smooth, creamy, and downright decadent, and pairs well with a cup of coffee or even a dessert wine…it’s my Café Au Lait Cheesecake.
This tried-and-true recipe has been in my rotation since 1995 when I discovered it in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and is loved by all who’ve been lucky enough to get a slice. It requires a bit of work, but worth the time and effort.
Here’s what you will need…
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ cups finely crushed chocolate wafers
- ¼ cup butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. instant espresso coffee powder
- 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
- 3 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 slightly beaten eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- In a bowl combine crushed wafers with butter. Press evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan.
- In a small saucepan combine the chocolate, water and instant espresso. Cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate melts and the instant espresso coffee crystals dissolve.
- Remove from heat, continue stirring and add in liqueur, cool.
- In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth, add in sugar, flour, and vanilla and continue beating on medium speed until all ingredients are combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, add eggs all at once beating until mixed. Do not over beat.
- Reserve 2 cups of the cream cheese mixture, cover and place in the refrigerator. Then stir cooled chocolate-coffee mixture into the remaining cream cheese mixture, stirring until combined. Pour chocolate mixture into crust.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until sides are set (center will be soft set). Remove reserved mixture from refrigerator 10 minutes before going to the next step.
- Gently pull-out oven rack and carefully pour reserved mixture in a circle starting from the outside (where the chocolate is set). As you pour in a circle the mixture will gently spread over the entire surface.
- Gently push the rack back into the oven and bake the cheesecake for 20 – 25 minutes or until center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Then loosen sides of the cheesecake from the pan. Cool 30 minutes. Remove the springform pan completely and continue to cool. Once cheesecake has completely cooled (several hours) you can put the springform pan back on, cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 to 24 hours before serving.
– I use Teddy Grahams for the crust, Guittard dark chocolate, Ferrara Instant Espresso Coffee, and Kahlua Liqueur for the first layer of the cheesecake
– I cover the bottom insert of the 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper as it helps when taking the cheesecake out of the pan and placing it onto a serving dish.
– Be sure the chocolate melts and the espresso coffee crystals dissolve when doing step 3. Don’t rush the process.
– I bake the cheesecake for the full 30 minutes the first time (step 8) and then check the baking process at the 20-minute interval the second time around (step 10). I then bake an additional 2 maybe 3 minutes before taking it out of the oven.
– I refrigerate the cheesecake at least 24 hours before serving.
Finally, I absolutely love looking at my husband’s face after he has placed a bite of cheesecake into his mouth…my number one indicator that the cheesecake is a complete success. The smile that comes across his face brings a smile to my face.
Hope you enjoy this cheesecake as much as we do. Bon Appétit!