|A small nod to the hubby's coastal week-end!|
This is a recipe winner from 1974's Austin American-Statesman's recipe contest. It won for The Richest - Most Decadent, April 1974. I clipped it and it has been a family favorite ever since.
My husband's birthday is next week and he will be out-of-town working. He's here THIS week-end so we are declaring it the birthday week-end at home. I said "I assumed a cheesecake would be your choice?" He smiled and said "yep, sounds good"!
I looked around to see if there was another recipe I wanted to try - but I hadn't made this one in a couple of years so quickly picked it up and got started. It is really a luscious cheesecake. Rarely do I stick exactly to a recipe...but I do with this one! I must have cut off whoever submitted it - but I wrote in pencil with a star next to it "Great Recipe".
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cream
2 ounces unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the melted butter in a bowl.
Press mixture in bottom and 1 3/4 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. (I always put foil around the outside of my springform when I use a butter crust. I use a measuring cup to press the crumb mixture into the springform pan.)
|Crust in the springform pan - and no, I didn't measure 1 3/4 inches up the side!|
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
|24 ounces of softened cream cheese and the rest of the sugar - let the batter begin!|
|Nice and creamy - added vanilla after the sugar and cream cheese were mixed|
Add eggs (one at a time), beating on low speed just until blended.
Add cream; beat on low speed until blended.
|Cream ready to be incorporated - be sure to do it on slow or you'll be wearing it!|
So speaks the voice of experience :-)
Stir 1 1/2 cups batter into the melted cooled chocolate, stirring briskly until smooth.
|I always think 2 ounces of chocolate isn't enough...but it is!|
|Keep stirring...it WILL come together!|
|Yum, chocolate cheesecake mixture|
Pour half the plain mixture into the crust.
|Oops, I added a bit more than half - not paying attention|
Gradually pour in half the chocolate mixture, using a zig zag motion.
Pour the rest of the plain mixture over the chocolate mixture.
Drizzle the final bit of the chocolate mixture all over the top of the plain mixture.
|These are going to be interesting layers - heavy on the bottom, heavy on the first chocolate|
layer and then thin on the upper two. Sometimes it just is the way it is!
Draw a knife or narrow metal spatula through the batter to marble the layers.
|Pretty marbelized swirls - ready to bake!|
Bake at 325 for 60 to 70 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack; loosen sides of pan.
|Cooling on rack - hot out of the oven...smells great...looks pretty...yay!|
Cool 30 minutes more on rack, then remove sides of pan.
Note: Typically, the top of this cheesecake may crack during cooling
Now, I have thought of using a water bath to reduce the risk of cracking, but...the last time I did that, my pan was not water-tight, even with the foil - my crust got sogged - and I can't begin to tell you how much I wanted to cry. I never have done much of anything other than what the original recipe calls for since then (well, except for using semi-sweet chocolate from time to time - it calls for unsweetened chocolate...and it's my call to add the eggs one at a time - seems right so that's what I do). I had a few small cracks, some bubbles - but overall, it looked quite lovely!
I have served it with chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate shavings...but my family is just fine with a big old slab of this cheesecake....just the way it is! Half the cake is now gone (as I conclude this post) and the best words of appreciation were "honey, you could sell this cheesecake!"...and he got the same reply I always give..."that sounds like work - NO THANKS!"
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!