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.
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.
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.