Thanksgiving is always a great time of year. It is one of the few times a year my large family manages to all get together. It is wonderful to be able to spend the afternoon with family and friends, catch up on what everyone has been doing, draw names for the upcoming Christmas and eat wonderful food! This year was by far the best Thanksgiving in the way of eats! Normally at Thanksgiving we seem to end up having anything but turkey (I know sad, isn’t it). This year my cousin Mary and I started nagging extra early to have a turkey on Thanksgiving, and WE WON!! It was amazing, Big Turkey, Gramma’s homemade dressing, homemade ceaser salad and Gramma’s home-made baked beans (the baked beans took a little working as well, but Gramma did eventually give in) it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we have had in a long time. There were some other veggies and potatoes there as well, but I can have that anytime, so they really were not worth mentioning, haha!
There are an awful lot of us so we all pitch in to the dinner, I was in charge of dessert! This years request was cheesecake of any kind, easily done! I had to think of another something to bring, as there were a few people who were not crazy about cheesecake (weird, I know!) After going through many different flavour profiles I settled on chocolate swirl cheesecake with chocolate ganache and nuts. I figured everyone loves chocolate, so it would please the masses, as well as pumpkin pie and an apple crostata.
I started making the cheesecake the night before Thanksgiving dinner, I had made them before and they super easy to make, figured there would be no problems. I was wrong…..
Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust
2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and mix well
press into a spring-form pan.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for approx 10 minutes. Cool.
*** Now is a good time to waterproof your spring from pan for the water bath.
I have found that just because foil is just not wide enough and I can’t seem to fold 2 pieces well enough to make it seal, I like to put a layer of parchment paper on first. Then the foil. This keeps the water out every time!
Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
1. In 2 double boilers melt the chocolate and white chocolate and allow to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.
5. Add heavy cream and vanilla, blend until smooth and creamy.
6. When chocolate has cooled divide chocolate. I used 2 cups to mix with white chocolate and mixed the remaining with the white…..here is where things started to go horribly wrong!
I did not allow the chocolate to fully cool, being in a rush, and it seem to go grainy, and separated the cream cheese, made it look clumpy, not smooth.
I knew I could not take this one to Thanksgiving, it looked awful! I was already planning on making another similar cheesecake the next day for our other small family Thanksgiving dinner, so I figured I’d just use this one for that dinner and make another one for Tomorrow, problem solved! But wait, I only have 1 spring from pan!!! After much debate and slight panic I decide I will cut the crust down to fit into a 8 inch cake pan, the sides are high and it will be water proof. I cut it down to fit perfectly, im quite proud of myself at this point, just about to pour the cheesecake batter in and suddenly I realize, HOW AM I GOING TO GET IT OUT???????? After a few choice words under my breath I get the brain wave to line it with parchment paper so I can lift it out.
After digging it out of the pan and lining the pan and putting it back in, the crust totally fell apart, but I firmly pat it down and think, no one will notice with the lovely cheesecake on top. At this point pictures went out the window, I was really running behind and had to get this one cooked because we were going out to dinner. So, got everything figured out, cheesecake was in the water bath in the oven, jump in the shower while its cooking, and it would cool in the oven while we were out to dinner. Things seem to be coming together.
***3 hours later 8:00 pm I finally get home ready to make cheesecake #2 to take to the big family Thanksgiving dinner.
First thing I do when I get home is rush over to the oven and crank it to 350 F and start into the second cheesecake.
Followed the above steps until the blending of the chocolate
Turned out perfectly smooth
7. Drop spoonfuls of the white chocolate on top of the chocolate and lightly stir to make a swirl
8. Pour batter onto prepared crust and place in a large pan, I use a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water, half way up the sides of the cake pan.
****This is when I realized that I forgot to take the first cheesecake out of the oven!! It has been re-cooking this whole time, as I preheated and made cheesecake #2, oh dear…. Well, we know it wont be undercooked, but can you overcook a cheesecake?
9. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill over night.
The next day….
The Cheesecake #2, spring form removed, came out perfect
I chose a chocolate ganache frosting from Nish Whips Up A Dish
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy.
3. Reduce speed to low.
4. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
6. Let sit at room temperature while the cupcakes cool.
The piped boarder and some crushed nuts finished the cheesecake off nicely. It tunred out very well. It even converted a non-cheesecake eater. It was delicious!!!
Now back to the disaster cake…
The next day hoping it would come out in one piece…
Success!!! nothing that a little ganache and nuts wont fix
Taken in a dimly lit dinning room with my phone. But it was delicious!!! It didn’t look that great inside or out, but it tasted just as good. surprisingly the extra hour in the oven didn’t affect it at all.