Monday, March 11, 2013

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake

I thought that this would be a good cheesecake to post in the week running up to St. Patrick’s Day! Who doesn’t love cheesecake? And beer is also a winner, so together they make for a very interesting, grown up dessert. My husband sometimes sends me recipes, some baking things and some dinner ideas. I imagine you are not surprised that this is a recipe my husband found! My husband, also a baker, years ago had made a beer cheesecake that he still talks about. This is a different recipe but I knew that had been such a positive experience that I was excited to try this.

The site where this is from, The Beeroness, explains at length how to select the right beer for this cheesecake. I don’t like bitter beer, so I’m not very familiar with the chocolate stout options for this cheesecake. My husband already knew what beer he wanted to use, and we picked up Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, which is a beer from the UK. My husband said that it was a good drinking beer, but I’ll have to take his word for it as I’m not really a stout fan.

I don’t make cheesecakes very often, but I think this one turned out really well and it cuts beautifully. The crust has a nice saltiness to it from the pretzels. My pan was a little small so I didn’t use all of the batter, and I put it on a baking sheet to catch any potential drips. I’d never baked the sour cream topping on, so that was interesting. I tasted this after about 7 hours of refrigeration and I didn’t really like it. It didn’t have a distinct flavor. The next day, I really liked it. It needed the time for the flavors to come together. This has a good chocolate flavor, a subtle beer flavor, and isn’t too sweet.

Chocolate Beer Cheesecake
4 rectangular graham crackers
1 cup pretzels
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

7 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup chocolate stout
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons chocolate stout
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9” springform pan.

In a food processor, process the graham crackers, pretzels, and brown sugar and the pretzels until crumbly. Add the melted butter and process the mixture until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. 

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the beer and the chocolate. Stir until melted and remove from heat; allow to cool.

In a large mixer bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and mix until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for one minute after each addition. Stir in the chocolate/stout mixer. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder, stir on low speed until just combined. Pour the batter over the crust.

Place the cheesecake on the middle rack of the oven. Place a baking dish filled with water on the rack below the cheesecake. (Alternatively, bake the cheesecake in a water bath: wrap the springform pan in foil and place in a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it comes half way up the side of the spring form pan. I don’t do this as my cheesecake always gets soggy.)

Bake the cheesecake until the center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven. 

In a small bowl whisk together the shrimp, powdered sugar, and chocolate stout. Pour over the cheesecake and bake for 8-10 more minutes, until set. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate before serving, at least 3 hours, or longer (to allow the flavors to meld).

Remove the sides of the springform pan and cut the cheesecake with a knife dipped in hot water (and dried).

Recipe from The Beeroness

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