Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sunday - Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with Blackberry Glaze

I write this post with mixed emotions. It is the our last SMS post for 2009. We will start again in January. While I am grateful for the "free" time it will give me, I will really miss my Sunday evenings which are spent reading posts from the other bakers. I am new to this whole experience, blogging and baking with groups on-line. I have to say I really enjoy it. All the new friends I have met. All the wonderful recipes I have tried, many I might not have tried were it not for the groups I bake with. I guess I am just a bit melancholy at this time of year and it is bleeding through to my blog.


But, back to business. Shandy of Pastry Heaven picked this recipe. Any time the word cheesecake, chocolate and espresso are in the same sentence I am hooked. I actually looked at this recipe and had it earmarked to pick if it was still available in April when it's my turn to choose a recipe.  I am not at all upset that Shandy picked it now.

This was (is) a delicious cheesecake! I believe it will be a bit boozy for my hubby. Not that he doesn't drink, but he's funny about alcohol in his foods and if he can taste it he usually doesn't like the dish. While I could taste the dark rum (it's more of a warmth in the mouth and throat than an actual taste) I still liked the cheesecake every much.


As cheesecakes go, it's pretty typical to pull together. A bit more work cooking the cream, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, and melting the bittersweet chocolate, but it's really just making a crust, mixing the cream cheese with other ingredients and baking it. It bakes in a water bath and from all the cheesecakes I have made, water baths = creamy filling. This was no exception to that rule. The filling turned out silky, creamy, smooth,and intensely chocolaty.

The crust was a wonderful surprise. A good many crusts get soft and  almost cookie like. This crust stayed crispy, crunchy. It was a nice contrast to the smooth, silky texture of the filling. Perhaps the hazelnuts help to make it crunchy. Not sure, but I really liked it.

The glaze on top, pretty and shiny, is overwhelmed by the chocolate of the filling. I made extra glaze and drizzled it on the plate and that little bit extra added just a hint of the blackberry flavor to each bite. I really can't say I tasted the espresso. I think it serves to intensify the chocolate rather than add a coffee flavor to the dessert.


All and all, this is a fabulous dessert. Rich, creamy, crunchy, tons of chocolate flavor, beautiful on a plate with a bit of the glaze drizzled over each slice. I think you could easily omit the rum and still have a delicious cheesecake. I don't think I would omit it completely next time, but might knock it back to 1/8 of a cup rather than 1/4 of a cup.  I didn't have any fresh blackberries on hand, but think some chocolate curls might dress the plate up nicely, along with the extra glaze. I love how Shandy decorated hers. Stop by her blog to check it out! And, stop by SMS to see what the other bakers thought of this one, and if anyone is as melancholy as I am about not baking with Melissa again till January.

12 comments:

  1. Great post! What a fantastic way to end the year. Your cheesecake looks wonderful - I love the glaze drizzled on the plate! I enjoyed this one even though it was quite rich.

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  2. It won't be long and will all be baking together again. December is going to fly by!
    Im posting my cheesecake later this evening. I have been busy and could only get to it today. It's in the oven right now. Im going to put a Peanut butter glaze on top! I can't wait to eat it!
    Your cheesecake looks so good, I hope mine looks as good as yours!

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  3. Your cheesecake looks lovely. Especially with the shiny fruit glaze on top. The texture looks good too. I'm glad you and your husband enjoyed it. I'm planning on omitting the booze and subbing cream in its place.

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  4. Your cheesecake looks beautiful! I had similar thoughts about no more posts this year. But that does give me more time to bake Christmas goodies!!!

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  5. Susan, your glaze looks absolutely beautiful added onto the plate! I didn't taste the espresso either but you sure get a high dose of chocolate. I have to smile because I enjoyed the chocolate flavor but my hubby about had a heartattack. He was trying to be supportive and tell me how wonderful it was while figuring out how to take another bite. I think the flavor was a little rich for him =).

    Thank you for baking the cheesecake with me this week and Susan, you know in just a couple of weeks we will be all together baking again. Big hug and a Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  6. Great post and fabulous looking cheesecake!

    Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season!!

    See you again in 2010!

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  7. Your cheesecake looks wonderful, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I added the alcohol with the cream by accident, so I think it cooked out some of the harsh taste.

    This group really is fun, there are other things in my life that I would be happier to take a break from for a few weeks.

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  8. Beautiful cheesecake, Susan! I prefer groups with a less frequent posting schedule or else life gets too CRAZY!

    I don't know if you saw it, but Deb posted an amazing cappuccino cheesecake recently...it looks deadly! http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/11/cappuccino-fudge-cheesecake/

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  9. Chocolate, espresso and cheesecake get me too. I loved this one. I left out the booze entirely - with no substitution - and it was perfect.

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  10. Your cheesecake looks beautiful, especially with the extra glaze! I will miss SMS over the next two weeks too. Happy Holidays

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Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.