I was asked to donate a cheesecake for a fund-raising event for the Women’s Professional Staff Association at the Cleveland Clinic. Now cheesecakes are my thing! I have been baking them Forever!! Mostly I love the fact that there can be so many varieties. (You may begin to notice a reoccurring theme with me… I love recipes that I can change-up and add in new flavors!) And that is exactly what I did in this cheesecake.
Feeling a bit nervous in putting out a cheesecake for a raffle…it had to look gorgeous and tempting, right? or else no one would bid on it – and how embarrassing would that be! The perfectionist in me intensified the need to make this spot on! And liquor was necessary – no not for me at the moment, but definitely in the cake!
So, I took a Bailey’s Cheesecake recipe and adjusted it to my liking. Having made hundreds of cheesecakes, I do have enough experience to know what I can substitute in and how much. I agree, the name I’ve given this cheesecake is a bit too long! If you have a better suggestion, please drop me a comment!
For crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and maintain temperature at 325.
For filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time. Pour in the liquor and vanilla and beat until combined well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the crust. Spoon on the filling. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top. Bake until cake is puffed, still somewhat jiggly in the center, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool. Using a knife gently loosen the very top edges of the cake from the pan. This prevents cracking as the cake begins to cool and pulls away from the sides. When cooled, release the sides of the pan and refrigerate overnight.
For the topping: Beat cream, sugar, coffee powder and liquor until peaks form. Spread mixture over cooled cake. Garnish with toffee bits and chocolate shavings.
Baking note: When baking all my cheesecakes, I place a pan of water on the lower rack to add moisture in the oven and prevent any cracking. Cheesecakes do tend to crack and it’s not ruined! Many are covered up by toppings and if not, it’s perfectly acceptable – the taste is never affected by a crack!!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.