Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
For the Crust:
32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
For the Ganache:
1½ cups heavy cream
20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup coffee flavored liqueur
For the Filling:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ tbsp. dark rum
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ tsp. mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 large eggs
For the Topping:
1½ cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Garnish:
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, as desired
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides).
Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Add the coffee flavored liqueur and whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the rum, espresso powder, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the espresso powder dissolves. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)
To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely. Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes. Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.
Gently warm the remaining Ganache until just spreadable and pour over the chilled Cheesecake. Gently tip the Cheesecake until the Ganache is evenly spread. Return to refrigerator until Ganache is firm, at least 1 hour. Using a thin-bladed knife (a boning or fillet knife works great), carefully run the knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen the Cheesecake, taking care to not damage the Crust. To finish, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans as desired. Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.
I found that this was easiest to make in two days: on Day One I made the Crust and Ganache in the morning and the Filling and Topping in the afternoon. I refrigerated the Cheesecake overnight and on Day Two I completed the Cheesecake with the remaining Ganache topping and the Espresso Bean garnish. As an alternate finishing method, the firm reserved Ganache can be piped onto the Filling with an icing bag and decorative tip.
Original recipe from Annie's Eats.