and i know you do, or you probably wouldn't be reading this particular blog...
i present to you my latest creation, chocolate cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust, drenched in gooey chocolate ganache:
5 oz (1¼c) roasted macadamia nuts
½ c panko
¼ c sugar
2 T flour
¼ t salt
3 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
pulse nuts in food processor fitted with metal blade till the consistency
of very coarse bread crumbs. combine in bowl with the remainder of
dry ingredients, and pour the butter pretty fairly evenly over the mixture.
stir till well combined and pour into the bottom of a 8½-10" springform pan.
if making for cheesecake, do not blind bake. if making for a pre-cooked filling,
blind bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 min, or until golden brown.
2½ lb cream cheese, @ room temperature
1½ t vanilla extract
contents of 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 c sugar
3 T flour
1 c mascarpone
8-9 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, vanilla (both
kinds) and sugar till light and fluffy. add the flour and mix on low to incorporate, making
sure to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. add the mascarpone and melted, cooled
chocolate, and mix very well to combine, and again, scrape down the sides and bottom of the
bowl. when it's smooth and homogenous, add the eggs, one at a time, while mixing on low speed.
scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix till very smooth. pour mixture into your prepared crust.
if your springform pan is light in color, bake in a 350° oven for 50 mins to 1 hr and 10 mins. if your
springform pan is dark in color, reduce heat to 325° and bake for the same amount of time.
when the center is almost set, the cheesecake is done. remove to a wire rack and allow to come to
room temperature, then place in fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hrs.
this step is not absolutely necessary, but it is a delicious addition to your cheesecake, and it
will hide any cracks that may have developed as your cheesecake cooled.
4¾ oz semisweet chocolate - i used 1½ bars of perugina semisweet - chopped very fine
4 oz heavy cream
place chopped chocolate in a small, heavy bowl. bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat.
pour hot cream into chocolate. allow to sit for a minute or so, and then stir till well combined. spoon over
cheesecake (or whatever else you might like), and spread to evenly cover the top.