Though I've never been to Ireland, I certainly appreciate more from that nation than just edibles. In no particular order, Seamus Heaney, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Jason O'Mara and Chris O'Dowd have all had some impact on me in one way or another. Plus, some of the most terrific names I've ever heard have Irish origins, and my favorite part about them is that many times, they aren't pronounced at all they way you'd expect. Niamh, Conchobhar, Caoimhe, Saoirse, Aoife, Bairrfhionn. Come on. I want to marry an Irish man just so I can have an excuse to use these names on my kids.
On that note, let's talk about the cake! Though I proclaim again and again that cheesecake isn't something I enjoy, I continue to present recipes for them. I hope you can tolerate my hypocrisy. This particular cake has many appealing qualities, from the jolt of flavor from the Irish cream to its chocolatey richness. It seems especially velvety to this gal, but that might just be all that Irish cream in me talking (not in an Irish accent*, unfortunately...).
*If you like the Irish accent as much as I, you might get a kick out of this.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
- 1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey's (or whip up your own, like I did!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, powdered sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for a few minutes until fully whipped, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat for a few more minutes. You want a really fluffy, chunk-free mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the 1/4 cup cocoa, flour, and salt. Beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur and mix until smooth. Pour filling over baked crust.
Wrap pan in 3 layers of aluminum foil and place it inside another pan with high sides. Put the pan in the oven, and then add water to the larger pan so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until center is just set. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside for another hour. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer, and then refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before removing from pan.