This cheesecake is so sinfully rich and elegant I could be excommunicated, but it would be worth it. We start with a Philadelphia style cheesecake sitting atop a crust of crushed pecans. On top of this we have a caramel mascarpone layer. Mascarpone is a delightfully rich soft-pot cheese. On top of this we have a chocolate rum tart crowned with a whipped cream “Chantilly”, drizzled chocolate glaze and pecans and shaved chocolate.
For ease, make the cheesecake and tart layers and refrigerate before making the hazelnut mascarpone or whipped cream “Chantilly”.
Transfer the cheesecake to the serving base or plate to be used.
Use the hazelnut mascarpone mixture to form a layer on top of the cheesecake. Use an icing spatula to smooth this layer fully to the edge of the cake.
Remove one half of the wax paper base from the tart and set on the mascarpone layer, setting the exposed side first and slowly peeling back the remaining wax paper as you lower the tart into place.
Apply the whipped cream “Chantilly” the same way you did the mascarpone layer.
Drizzle the entire cake with melted semi-sweet chocolate and decorate with chocolate shavings.
Cake: base layer
6 large eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
2 lbs. (four 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, preferably Kraft's Philadelphia brand
½ pint sour cream
½ pint heavy cream
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 heaping Tbs. flour
1 ½ cup crushed pecans
6 Tbs. melted sweet butter
¼ cup sugar
Add eggs, sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour to mixer. Beat on low to low-medium speed until completely smooth.
While cake mixture is beating, make the crust.
Mix crust ingredients together in small mixing bowl. Pour into 9" spring form pan, pressing into place with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake at 325 F. for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°.
When crust has cooled, and cake is thoroughly mixed, pour batter into the pan over the back of a big spoon, so the batter does not disturb the crust. Let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes.
Bake in 425°F. Oven for 15 minutes. Then turn oven down to 275° and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven. Do not open the oven door for 2 hours! After the 2 hours are up, remove cake and refrigerate.
Caramel mascarpone layer
1 lb. the finest mascarpone you can afford (if you cannot find mascarpone in your area you may substitute one of the following;
Use the "freshest, best-quality" cream cheese you can find
Mix ½ pound of ricotta cheese with 1 cup of heavy cream in a food processor until it forms a homogeneous cream
3 Tbs. caramel syrup
4 Tbs. sugar
Mix at medium speed or until creamy. refrigerate
Chocolate Tart layer
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbs. cup dark rum
Place the chocolate into a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, evaporated milk, rum and salt and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Pour the hot mixture through a sieve over the chocolate and whisk to combine.
Add the eggs one at the time to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
Add in the condensed milk and whisk until the mixture is very smooth and shiny.
Pour mixture into a wax paper lined spring-form pan and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. The tart is done when the mixture appears set and does not jiggle independently in the middle.
Let cool completely before transferring to the cheesecake.
Add half of the caramelized pecans on top
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbs. water
¼ tsp. vanilla
½ cup pecans
In a heavy skillet, melt sugar in water at high heat til bubbling
Add pecans and continue to cook until sugar starts to turn dark amber
Remove from heat and transfer pecans to foil to cool
Stabilized cream topping
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters for at least 15 minutes before using. Place water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften 5 minutes.
2. Dissolve gelatin by microwaving for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. Remove from microwave and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes; gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to cream.
3. Remove bowl and beaters from refrigerator and pour in cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show distinctly.
4. Add gelatin mixture to cream, pouring in a steady stream while beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Add the remaining caramelized pecans and some shaved chocolate to the top.
You will also need:
Dark rum, Semi-sweet chocolate and chocolate syrup.
© D R DeMilo 2010 all rights reserved