A Not-So-Pretty-But-Very-Tasty Chocolate Cheesecake
I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate-based desserts, as I find them too rich and quite sickening. That’s not to say I don’t eat chocolate, or wouldn’t try something new and chocolate related – I just tend to prefer the fruity version.
However, The Hummingbird Bakery claims that: ‘there must be a chocolate version of everything’ and apparently everyone – present company excluded – agrees.
I offered a colleague a baked ‘thank-you’ treat for helping me out with a project and you can imagine my surprise (or lack thereof) when he requested a chocolate cheesecake. * Sigh * – well – if you can’t beat them … use the Hummingbird Bakery recipe to join them.
Every aspect of this cheesecake has some sort of chocolate in it; so if you’re like me and are still on the same bar of chocolate that you started 6 months ago you might want to pop to the shops and buy some more.
The base was a simple job of crushing up lots of biscuits, adding in some cocoa powder and mixing it all together with melted butter. I squished this into my base-lined and pre-greased cake tin and popped it into the fridge to cool while I started on the cheesy bit.
The cheesy part of the recipe used pretty much the same method as the New York Cheesecake but with melted chocolate added into the mix. To melt the chocolate, you must heat it over a saucepan of simmering water. Naturally, I couldn’t find any ‘heatproof’ bowls so had to make do with a plastic one that I held on top of the pan whilst making sure the bottom didn’t touch the metal as it had a tendency to melt on contact – great.
When combining the cheese to the chocolate, it’s best to stir the cream cheese mixture into the melted chocolate a little at a time. This, ladies and gentlemen, is to ensure that the temperatures even out nicely. Thankfully, I managed not to mess this bit up. The chocolate-cheese mix was then spooned onto the biscuit base and put in the oven with a water bath for 40-50 minutes.
DON’T trust your gut instinct – take the cheesecake out EVEN if you think it’s not quite done.
Why? The cake will continue cooking once it’s out the oven; so taking it out when it’s ‘almost’ cooked will ensure it’s perfect by the time it’s cooled. If you’re like me and you panic and keep it in the oven for longer it will crack – like this cheesecake did!
The first thing I thought was ‘how am I going to make this look good enough to take to work?!’ The answer was nothing. Ah well – home-baked cakes can’t always look stunningly beautiful. I gave up and left the cheesecake to cool on the counter while I got on with other stuff (i.e. I had a nap).
My brother sauntered into the kitchen while I was upstairs and helped himself to about a quarter of the cheesecake! What, you may ask, was his reason for eating something that was clearly labelled ‘DO NOT EAT – TAKING TO WORK’ ? Well, as the older brother, apparently he trumps colleagues on baked goods.
However, he somehow managed to cut out the majority of the crack! His chocolate craving ended up being a blessing in disguise – I could admit to him eating it and no one would know that there had been cracks in it. Genius!
The chocolate cheesecake didn’t last very long once it was put out in the department kitchen the next day; apparently the Humingbird Bakery’s statement is pretty spot on. Everyone really enjoyed it – and although it was the teeniest bit too rich for me – I would actually consider making it again.