Coffee cheesecake topped with with chocolate toffee bits, garnished with homemade sweetened whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans on a chocolate graham cracker crust.
This is an intensely rich cheesecake that is sure to impress!
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Cheesecakes, for me, are a labor of love. They take time and effort so I usually only make them for people I really like. I’m making this one for my sweetie and sharing it with my church family at our monthly potluck.
Don’t be intimidated by cheesecakes. Yes, they take work. Yes, the top may crack (that’s the real reason most cheesecakes have a topping). But the results are so worth the effort!
And people adore cheesecake. I once read the it’s the most often ordered dessert at restaurants.
Prep the pan
Stick the pieces of parchment to the bottom and side of the pan. The cooking spray will “glue” it in place. Then give it another quick spray.
Take 10 whole chocolate graham crackers and grind them up fine. I like to start them in a ziplock with my rolling pin. I put them in a gallon sized bag, crush them up some, and then transfer them to my food processor. If you don’t have a food processor just keep rolling and whacking until they’re really fine crumbs.
Mix the crumbs with the melted butter until it looks like wet sand. I like unsalted but regular salted is fine. Don’t go out and buy a whole pound just for this recipe.
(FYI, butter freezes really well so it might be a good idea to keep some unsalted on hand.)
Also, don’t even try this with margarine. It contains too much water and the crust will be gooey.
Next, press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Really press it in there, use something with a flat bottom like a glass or measuring cup.
Pop the whole thing, pan and all, into the freezer while you make the cheesecake batter.
Start with room temperature creamed cheese. If it’s cold, the batter will be lumpy. And lumps can sometimes cause cracks.
Dissolve a tablespoon of the instant coffee in the hot water and set it aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for a few minutes.
Scape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Next, beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. (Tip: use a large slotted spoon to separate yolks from whites).
Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
Mix in the cornstarch and salt. Don’t be tempted to skip the cornstarch, it binds to the eggs and helps prevent cracks.
Reduce the speed to low and add the coffee mixture, the other tablespoon of instant coffee, cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
(This would probably have been a much better picture if I had thought to turn off the mixer first.)
Scrape down the sides and mix another few seconds.
Pour the batter over the frozen crust and bake for 60-75 minutes or until the filling is just a little jiggly in the middle. Just look at those beautiful flecks of coffee! Mmmmm…coffee.
Put it on a baking sheet, sometimes some of the butter from the crust leaks out.
Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for 10 minutes so the cheesecake can cool some.
Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for 2 hours.
Then cover and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours. I usually chill mine overnight.
Remove the band and parchment strips. Fill the center with chocolate toffee chips. Pipe some pretty swirls of Stabilized Whipped Cream and dot with chocolate covered espresso beans.
Tips for cutting
Start with a large, sharp knife. Run it under very hot water, wipe it dry with a clean dish towel and make your first cut. I usually cut it in half. Then, with a clean fresh-out-of-the-drawer wet dish cloth, wipe the knife blade clean. Rinse under hot water, dry, and cut into quarters. Wipe, rinse, and dry after every cut.
For 12 servings, cut each quarter into thirds. For 16 servings, cut each quarter into fourths.
It isn’t as tedious as it sounds. And after the loving attention you put into baking your Coffee Toffee Cheesecake, you don’t want it hacked to death.
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