Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

Happy National Cheesecake Day! 

I made a chocolate espresso cheesecake this weekend, (turns out that was National Coffee Milkshake Day, so I guess my timing's a little off) so I thought I would share the recipe. 

Holiday or not, the important thing (or "the 'portant thing" as my little brother would say) is that I made some really yummy cheesecakes. 

I used this recipe from Epicurious, but with some modifications and a different crust. I find that graham cracker crusts are usually soggy, so I use a fusion of a nut crust that my grandma makes for a frozen fruit dessert, and a regular graham cracker crust. Here is my modified version:

Chocolate Espresso Swirl Cheesecake

Crust1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter, melted
1 package graham crackers
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts (or pecans)

2 double shots of espresso
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar (I cut down on the sugar a little.)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chips.)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Break up the graham crackers. Put all crust ingredients in food processor. Process until the nuts are ground and the ingredients are well combined. Divide the crust between two 9-inch diameter springform pans. Press the crumbs on the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of each pan. Bake the crusts for 10-15 minutes, until they are light golden brown. (This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.)

Chocolate Ganache:
Heat the cream in a double boiler over low-medium heat. (We don't have a double boiler, so I use a metal or ovensafe glass bowl over a small pot.) Add the chocolate chips, stir occasionally until they are all melted. While the chocolate is melting, you can work on mixing the filling. 


Using an electric mixer, (A Kitchenaid is great if you have one.) beat the cream cheese on high until VERY smooth and fluffy. (I beat it for at least five minutes.) Add the sugar and continue beating. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the espresso, vanilla, and the melted butter. (If we have it around, I usually throw in an spoonful of instant espresso powder for extra coffee flavor! Also note that if you add the ground coffee that the original recommends, you end up with a gritty cheescake.)

Split the filling between the two crusts. (The original recipe has you put it all in one, but it always overflows when I do that. Cheesecake burning on the bottom of the oven = not good.)  Drop several spoonfuls of melted chocolate mixture around on top of the filling, spacing it fairly evenly. Use a chopstick (a sharp knife works too) to swirl the chocolate into the filling. (I like to make mine look like latte art.)

I forgot to take any pictures this time, but here's a pre-baking Instagram picture from last time I made these. 

Bake the cheesecakes until edges are puffed and beginning to crack and top is golden brown, around 25-30 minutes (center will not be set). Cool on a rack. Chill for several hours or overnight. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of serving.)

-Jessamyn at Voyage Coffee Roasters

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Coffee Feature: Organic Ethiopia Sidamo

Hello coffee lovers!

Today's post is the last in a series of four about our newest coffees. Last but not least, this post is about our Organic Ethiopia Sidamo Suko Quto. 

The Beans:
This Organic offering is grown in volcanic soil that's maintained with organic recycling. The farm is above 1600 meters in the Oriomia region of Ethiopia. It's a Grade 2 coffee, and it's processed using the Washed Process. 

The Taste:
From our cupping notes: A muted fragrance followed by lemony, black tea notes, a hint of sweetness, and a light-medium body. 

From Olam's (our green coffee importer) cupping notes: very nice sweet, lemon, floral notes

Featured in:
Safari Blend, Tempest Blend

Buy Organic Ethiopia Sidamo

Questions or comments about this coffee? Leave a comment below!