My first inclination when thinking about the type of dessert to make for our classic Italian dinner was a cheesecake. I couldn't decide between a plain cheesecake with a fruit topping, a filling of some sort, etc. My friend Amber was nice enough to remind me of a recipe she showed me a couple of weeks ago that I was enamored with - Chocolate Rum Cheesecake.
This was my second time making a cheesecake (the first was an Oreo Cheesecake) and I found it once again to be rather simple. This cheesecake required a few extra steps but none that were complicated or advanced in any way.
This recipe called for superfine sugar, which I could not find at my grocery store. After researching for a bit I found that you can easily make your own by merely processing regular granulated sugar in the food processor or blender until it is fine and powdery, which is what I did.
I was proud in that I only managed one small crack in the top of the cheesecake! This recipe produced an insanely creamy cheesecake. The bittersweet chocolate was perfect because it wasn't too sweet, and consider yourself warned -- you can most definitely taste the rum in this! The cake was a hit - Nick had seconds and one of our guests asked for the recipe.
Chocolate Rum Cheesecake
(Source: Williams Sonoma)
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
6 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup rum (I used dark rum)
1 lb cream cheese
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and cover the outside with aluminum foil, shiny side out.
In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar and stir to mix. Add the melted butter and stir until blended. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate and rum and melt, stirring often, about 1 minute; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the superfine sugar and continue beating until blended. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and set it over a pan of simmering water but not touching the water. Warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until completely smooth and very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour 1 1/3 cups of the batter into another bowl and set aside. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining batter and whisk until blended. Set the bowl back over the simmering water and stir until creamy and smooth.
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Gently pour the plain batter over the top and make swirls in the batter with a fork.
Bake until the cake is set around the edges and the center is still a little loose, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature, remove the rim from the pan and refrigerate overnight. Serves 10 to 12.