Life is Great

The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

This cake is... shall I say... over the top? Maybe a little.

One evening while lazing on the couch going trolling through Deb's archives, I came across this. The page was promptly shown to the other half. "Oooohhh", he takes a closer look. "What's inside?" "Cheese, chocolate and coffee." It took him awhile to register what I said. "Wuahhh, all the things I like in a dessert combined together leh..."

"So when you gonna make?"

After briefly contemplating the side effects of Deb's site on our possibly proven expanding midriffs, it was arranged to be made immediately after we finished that other best cake. Life is great and too short to be wasted not having chocolate, coffee and cheese all at once, whatever that damned scale tells you.

I was nervous.

1. This is my first cheesecake. 2. There's actual nozzle piping involved. 3. If I do screw up it will be a very expensive flop. Yet, the brave heart marched on, armed with three blocks of Philadelphia, two and a half packets of Oreos and a good measure of the best dark chocolate. At eight in the morning (considering how long it takes to finish the cake, I started early), the Oreos took me for a ride. Two packets of it from a box of two had cream which stuck to the cookie. After spending an eternity scraping each cookie clean, I discovered the third packet sold on its own allowed me to peel of the cream layer with ease. Next came the bit where preparing the crust involved dividing the blitzing into three parts because my kitchen is yet to be equipped with a decent sized food processor. Lining the tin with the crust took some detailed maneuvering too - high crusted cheesecake is a brilliant idea!

Not wanting the top to crack, I used a lower temperature from the get go so the cake took about half an hour longer to set. By the time the lattice was done I was spent. It was eight at night and out of exhaustion I accidentally binned my piping nozzle along with the leftover fudge lined freezer bag. This was after exploding three bags no matter how gentle I tried to be, which I later learned is a common problem to deal with for those of us who refuse to get piping bags. Perhaps I will buy the disposable plastic ones on my next inevitable trip to the bake shop, along with a new set of nozzles.

The next afternoon we cut the cake...

... and all those heart-attack inducing moments - seriously, who came up with the idea of lattices? - were worth it all. This is the sort of cake you need to eat sitting down, in silence. The fork should go from top to bottom, encasing all the layers into your mouth to deliver that ingenious balance of texture and flavor. The message is not subtlety. It floors you and yet you'll want another bite after a short recovery. I recommend serving it in one and a half inches slices at the most. Good things are meant to be savored in small amounts.
Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
Adapted barely from Smitten Kitchen. For a 10-inch pan version, the original recipe is at Bon Appetit.


  • 1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies or 9 ounces of homemade chocolate wafers
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

Make crust: Finely grind cookies, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in processor. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Wrap plastic wrap around fingers and press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan.

Make ganache: Bring cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and Kahlúa. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour 2 cups ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for decorating.

Make filling: Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended. Scrape down bowl, making sure you get to the bottom, where little pockets of unmixed cream cheese love to hide. Beat in flour. Stir rum, espresso powder, ground coffee, vanilla, and molasses in small bowl until instant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

Pour filling over cold ganache in crust — it will go nearly all of the way to the top, don’t panic. Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and the center two inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about one hour. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing topping (top of cheesecake will fall slightly, making room for topping). Maintain oven temperature.

Make topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about three hours.

Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. If you’d like to make an approximation (perhaps less rushed?) of the above decoration, pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes (I didn't have enough fudge for full blown rosettes, so stars went around) of ganache around top edge of cake.

Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours.

Do ahead: Cake is best made a day ahead, so the flavors have time to settle. The cake also takes enough time to make that it’s best not to rush through it the day you want to serve it. It can be made up to four days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep chilled.

12 Comments on Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

This cheesecake looks just amazing! I love all the layers, and the flavors sound fantastic. Beautiful job!

Posted by Anonymous lisaiscooking, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:32:00 AM  

This cheesecake has got to be the best-looking cheesecake I've ever seen. Wow.

Posted by Anonymous Memoria, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:33:00 AM  

Absolutely gorgeous!! It sounds delicious!

Posted by Anonymous Kaitlin, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:33:00 AM  

Thank you all for the good comments, do try the recipe. It's awesome.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:33:00 AM  

GORGEOUS is the only thing I can say! I have to try this now.

Posted by Anonymous Prerna@IndianSimmer, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:33:00 AM  

Prerna: Do try it, if you like coffee, cheesecake and chocolate. I can smell the cake while it's in the fridge!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 3, 2012, 10:33:00 AM  

I made this cheesecake last week and it was a huge hit. I omitted the ground espresso beans from the filling, and only used about half of the ganache to line the crust. I used oreos for my crust too, but I left the cream filling in and reduced the butter by half (I have done this many times making cheesecake crusts).

Great photos! I forgot to get a good photo before taking the cheesecake to a dinner party, so I'll have to make another one soon so I can blog about it.


Posted by Blogger Patricia @ ButterYum, at Mar 7, 2012, 11:53:00 AM  

ButterYum: Glad you liked it. I've baked this more than a few times now as it's really my other half's favorite cheesecake. Reducing the butter for the crust by half is a good idea, I'll try that the next time!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Mar 7, 2012, 12:11:00 PM  

I made this last weekend for a friend's birthday and it was a hit! But I gotta say the crust lining up to the top was kinda difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, this recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe!

Posted by Anonymous Ellen, at Aug 23, 2012, 9:59:00 AM  

I made this last weekend for a friend's birthday and it was a hit! But I gotta say the crust lining up to the top was kinda difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, this recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe!

Posted by Anonymous Ellen, at Aug 23, 2012, 9:59:00 AM  

Ellen: Yes, I always spend a long time shaping the crust as well but the good thing is you don't really have to be neat about it. Thanks for the sweet feedback!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Aug 27, 2012, 9:48:00 AM  

beautiful, beautiful,beautiful

Posted by Anonymous capturebyst, at Apr 10, 2013, 10:28:00 PM  

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