There are many things I have lightened up and healthified, but to me, cheesecake should always remain rich and creamy and in all its glory.
Today’s post is not dairy free. Or gluten free. Or even vaguely healthy.
But it is informative and if you want a dessert that is surprisingly easy, yet a show stopper, then you are reading the right post!
Just look at that.
Seriously. Mondays practically require a slice of cheesecake..
A cheesecake always consists of a crust and a filling, and then sometimes a topping. Simple, right?
Well, if you are scared of cheesecakes, its probably one of these two things:
The baking and chilling.
I’ll be honest, I’m comfortable whipping up a cheesecake, but it has taken many pans of practice. Yes, the springform pan is kind of a pain, and yes, there is a lot of baking and chilling time, but with a little practice, you’ll become a pro at this too. Plus, isn’t the end result completely worth it?
Yes, it totally is. Let’s get started! The sooner you have this in front of you, the better!
First up, the pan. This is the prep part and very important. A cheesecake is baked in a special springform pan which allows it to have its unique shape and presentation (since you can remove the outer edge) We always line ours with parchment paper and it has never failed us. This keeps the crust from sticking to the pan and also protects the pan from knife scratches. Also, now is when you want to preheat your oven because you will bake your crust for 10 minutes before pouring the filling over it and baking again.
See, in the top left picture? We’ve put the prepared pan into the outer edge and are ready to make our crust.
For the crust, you just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and then press into the pan! You can use your hands (as pictured above) or the bottom of a glass cup.
Now, bake that crust for 10 minutes and then let cool while you are mixing up the —->>>>
The cheesecake filling! Look at you! You’re doing great! All cheesecake fillings include cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Some call for sweetened condensed milk, other for sour cream, it depends on the recipe. This one calls for melted chocolate, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, some flour, etc. We beat everything together (except for the eggs) until smooth, and then added the eggs one by one.
This is one recipe I will pull the mixer out for. You just can’t achieve the same creaminess by hand and I wouldn’t recommend trying. Stick with your mixer and beaters.
The recipe called for toffee bits in the cheesecake filling, but we were out and I couldn’t add any until after it was baked and chilled. So, I recommend adding the toffee bits to the filling, but if you want it to look like the photos, save the toffee bits for the topping only. The recipe includes both options.
Pour over your cooled crust and get ready for the pan, part 2 (don’t worry this is really easy)
This ensures that the cheesecake will bake evenly. The water will create a steam bath which will also prevent cracking along the top. Its a simple step that sets cheesecakes apart.
Note: Wrapping the pan in foil makes sure none of the water leaks into your pan. That would ruin all your hard work, so don’t skip that step. You can wrap the pan before or after putting the crust and filling in – I did after, mainly because I forgot, but I also think it is easier to work with without the foil. Just take two long strips of foil, make an X, and set the cheesecake in the middle. Press the foil up next to the edges of the pan. This is the easiest way to wrap the foil, trust me.
And now we bake! And bake. And bake. After 45-50 minutes, your cheesecake will be done and you can bring it out. Remove from the water and let cool until the pan is no longer hot to the touch. Cover and chill overnight or for at least four hours.
After chilling, you finally get to drizzle with chocolate syrup and toffee bits and serve! Isn’t it pretty? I love the dark chocolate syrup drizzle against the truffle cheesecake filling. And the toffee bits can’t be beat! It is creamy, with a little bit of crunchy, and a wonderful way to end any meal.
If you want to pin or save the entire tutorial, scroll to the bottom of the post. And I hope you had a blessed Memorial Day weekend!
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
- 4 oz baking semisweet chocolate
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup toffee bits (optional)
- ⅓ cup chocolate syrup
- ½ cup toffee bits
- For crust:
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Take parchment paper, place the pan on it, and trace a circle around it. Cut out the parchment paper and place onto the pan, pressing the edges. Place pan back inside the rest of the springform pan. Set aside.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cocoa powder and whisk until sugar and cocoa are mxed throughout all of the crumbs.
- Pour melted butter into graham cracker mixture and stir until mixture pulls into a ball.
- Press into prepared pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- For filling:
- Melt the semisweet baking squares and milk chocolate chips together. I microwaved them in a large microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds.
- Add cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla. Beat well.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in toffee bits, if desired.
- Pour over cooled crust.
- Wrap pan in foil, if you haven't already, and set aside.
- Fill baking sheet or jelly pan with 1 inch water and set pan in it.
- Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set.
- Let cool completely before covering and chilling overnight or at least four hours.
- To serve:
- Loosen edges by running a knife around the perimeter of the pan and slowly loosen pan edge,
- Drizzle cheesecake with syrup and toffee bits.
- Serve and enjoy!
Store leftovers in the refrigerator.