A Southern Grace: shades of brown

June 15, 2013

shades of brown


Stripes. Layers. Gradations. Stratification. Any way you say it, I'm delighted by the effect.

By now, you know that I'm not crazy about eating cheesecake. You also know that I keep making them and posting about them anyway. It just so happens that they're extremely open to twists and turns and I enjoy playing around with their flavors and designs and garnishes. Not that I feel the need to explain myself or anything...

As cheesecakes go, this one is a bit of a show-stopper. Not only is it quite decadent and tasty, but its appearance is uniquely impressive. While it takes a little bit longer to make (and dirties up a few more dishes)(grr) than your typical cheesecake, the layers aren't difficult to accomplish and come out looking clean and pretty. Next time, I'd like to make them a bit more uniform in height--practice makes perfect(ish)!

Though I didn't necessarily time it like this on purpose, this post is perfect for Father's Day in my neck of the woods--my stepdad likes loves is obsessed with cheesecake more than anyone I've ever known, and he devoured this one. Give your popses an extra hug this weekend!

Striped Chocolate Cheesecake
(adapted from this recipe, which apparently requires advanced skills, which makes me irrationally giddy)
  • 24 whole Oreo cookies, blitzed into crumbs (about 1-1/2 cups worth)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet will suffice in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
First, prepare the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the melted butter to the cookie crumbs and blend with a fork until well combined.
Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press onto the bottom and a little ways up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust between 1/8- and 1/4-inch evenly all around.
Bake for about 8 minutes, just to give it a little time to bond.
To make the cheesecake, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for a few minutes at medium speed, then gradually add the sugar and beat hard until smooth. Scrape the bowl well and scrape often--this is how you prevent chunks of cream cheese in your batter.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add in the 1/4 cup heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, beating until well-blended; set aside.
Place the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1-1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, continue to microwave at 50% power for an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and completely smooth when stirred.
Gradually blend 1-1/2 cups cheesecake batter into the melted chocolate. Spread 2 cups of this chocolate mixture onto the prepared crust.
Blend additional 2 cups of the plain cheesecake batter into the remaining chocolate mixture; spread 2 cups of this mixture over first layer in the springform pan.
Stir what's left of the cheesecake batter into what's left of the chocolate mixture; spread over second layer. Smooth the top.
Wrap the pan in three layers of aluminum foil and set it into a larger pan that you can fill with water such that the water comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan. The water bath is key, folks.
Bake the beauty in the water bath for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is almost set.
Turn off the oven and step away. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for at least an hour, then remove it from the oven to wire rack. With knife, immediately loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature.
Chill the finished cheesecake for a good long while, overnight being ideal. You can get 8-16 servings out of this, depending on how much you and your guests like delicious and attractive chocolate cheesecake.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ooh that sure is purty! I'm giddily attracted to it that's for certain. What a lucky stepdad! :D

José Manuel said...

La foto lo dice todo, que cosa tan bueno.


Alicia Foodycat said...

Oh wow. I am not a huge chocolate dessert fan but this looks SO good!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oooohhh, divine!



Joanne said...

So it's an ombre cheesecake!! Love it!

Erica said...

Just saw it on FB. It looks amazing, Grace!My husband would love this for father's day!

Sue/the view from great island said...

Drooled...bookmarked...pinned. This is truly a showstopper, one of your best!

Barbara said...

I adore striped cheesecakes, cakes, just about anything. Such fun, so many flavors!
Bet he'll love it!

Dana said...

The striations go from light to dark! It's an ombre cheesecake!

(Sorry, just having fun thinking of more words.)

Monet said...

Show-stopper for sure! Goodness, this looks delicious (and I usually don't swoon over cheesecake). Ryan, however, loves it, so maybe I'll have a chance to make one before the baby comes? Looks so good!!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

If only zebras looked like... ;)
This cheesecake looks absolutely gorgeous!

Choc Chip Uru

Mimi said...

Looks perfectly delicious to me.

shaz said...

Oh cool! Like chocolate ombre cheesecake. Hmm...that's giving me ideas :)

Nutmeg nanny said...

Oh this is so beautiful, I love it :) and I bet it tastes incredible too!

Carolyn Jung said...

Now, that's three layers of goodness, if I've ever seen 'em. Where's my fork when I need it? ;)

Beth said...

Such a pretty dessert, and a great way to celebrate Father's Day!

I Wilkerson said...

I don't think that there are many things that look as good as graduated layers of chocolate...

Lisa said...

Gorgeous cheesecake! And extra nice to have an appreciative volunteer to consume it in the interest of continued encouragement.

The Teacher Cooks said...

Love your new look. What a cheesecake!!

Caroline Taylor said...

This looks great, lovely idea.

Lisa-Marie said...

Things I love - strata, chocolate, cheesecake, stripes.

This is a whole lot of win, in cake form!

Marjie said...

I only eat my chocolate straight up, but I know some dudes who would love this. Bonus: I would not get any of the calories attached to it!

Pam said...

Drooling. Wishing I had a slice.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

A showstopping cheesecake is worth all the time and dirty dishes!

Blond Duck said...

I made my dad oatmeal scotchies. I feel like such a failure now.

My Kitchen Stories. said...

What a fabulous idea and what a wonderful stripy delight. Glad he enjoyed

Laura said...

GORGEOUS!! You totally should be proud of that. And I am not the hugest cheesecake person in the world either, but I would really like a slice of that!!

Unknown said...

That looks so delicious with the various layers!