Cheesecake takes a lot of inactive time.  Everyone knows that right?  You make it, bake it, and no…not another rhyme – you let it sit in your oven after baking.  So, even when you know better, it’s probably not a throughly wise idea to start making one at 9 PM when you’re hoping to go to bed by 11 PM.  Should you embark on this endevor you’ll be left setting your cell phone alarm twice and temporarily sleeping on the couch so as to not wake your spouse – not that I would know or anything…

However, as part of my MIL’s visit (to be known as Jenny from now on), I made this since I know she loves coffee and cheesecake.  I know, I know, vieing for daughter-in-law of the year, but we just celebrated our one year/ 10 year anniversary this past weekend 🙂 which could be an excuse if I don’t always plan to spoil people who come to visit!!

In complete seriousness I ate 6 pieces; I may never make this again for sake of fitting in my pants in the future.

Kahlua and Coffee Cheesecake

Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter (+ some butter to butter the pan)

Cheesecake

  • 2 lbs – 4 (8-ounce) boxes – cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp. coffee liquor (I used Kahlua, because that’s what I already owned.)
  • 1 Tbsp. instant coffee powder (Espresso would be great too, but I couldn’t find it.)
  • 1 Tbsp. boiling water

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ Tbsp. powdered sugar

Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  If using a water bath, wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil so that no water leaks in.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar together, then add in the melted butter and stir until all the dry ingredients have been coated by the butter and are no longer dry.  Transfer the graham cracker mixture into the baking pan and using the bottom of a glass or your fingers compact it lightly into an even layer.  Since I love graham cracker crusts, I increased the portions (reflected above) so that my crust covered both the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Place the crust in the freezer while waiting for the oven to preheat.

Making sure your oven rack is in the middle of your oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.   Once preheated, put the crust on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.   Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put a kettle or enough water to fill your roasting pan up halfway on to boil.

In your electric mixing bowl on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until creamy, about 4 minutes.  While the mixer is still beating, add in the sugar and the salt, and beat for 4 minutes again.  Add the eggs one at a time, and make sure it is well incorporated before adding the next one.  Then, with the mixer on low, add in the sour cream.

Combine the 1 Tbsp. of boiling water and the instant coffee in a very small bowl.  Divide half of the batter into a seperate bowl.  In one of the batters, add the Kahlua or coffee liquor you’re using, and mix in with a spatula.  In the other, add the dissolved coffee mixture and stir with a spatula to combine.

Place the springform pan in a roasting or other pan that is big enough so that the springform doesn’t touch any of the roasting pan’s sides.  First, evenly pour the coffee liquor-flavored batter into the crust.  Then carefully and slowly pour the instant coffee-flavored batter on top of the liquor-flavored batter.

From the kettle, add boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour 30 minutes.  Then, turn off the oven leaving the cheesecake inside.  Prop the oven door open so that it’s open a crack; a wooden spoon was suggested and that’s what I used; keeping the cheesecake in there for 1 hour.   Then remove the cheesecake from the oven and pull the springform pan out of the roasting pan, placing it on a cooling rack until it comes to room temperature.  Allow to refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

For the chocolate ganache topping.  Put the bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl, microwave the butter and heavy cream on high for 1 minute.  Add the butter and cream mixture to the bowl of chocolate and stir until the chocolate is totally melted and smooth.  Stir in the vanilla extract, then stir in the  powdered sugar until smooth.   Pour the ganache on top of the cheesecake in an even layer and smooth out if needed.  Serve immediately or put back in the fridge until you’re ready!

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