Every time I make a cheesecake, I wonder why I don't do so more often. Then I eat half of it within the first day, and I remember why. I really love cheesecake. If offered a choice of flavor, I would normally have picked the unadulterated plain old cheesecake. However, this version has changed all of that.
It really is divine, this cheesecake. One of my favorite things we've made from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book so far. I mean, what's not to love? Two of my favorite flavors (coffee & chocolate) together in one creamy, decadent creation, complete with a chocolate crust that has a thin layer of melted chocolate on it. I'll say it again: chocolate crust, topped with melted chocolate, filled with chocolate espresso cheesecake. Oh my. And let's not leave out the blackberry glaze that you see on top. While there isn't a lot of it, it adds a wonderful light and tangy element to the dessert that really puts it over the top. Chocolate and blackberry are a match made in heaven.
Changes I made to the recipe are as follows: I made a 1/2 recipe in a 6" spring form - the crust was the perfect amount, but I had extra filling (which I made these with, forgetting that I had already made them, only to remember when I took a bite and recalled that I had eaten all of the cheesecake layer off of the brownie layer, because it wasn't terribly good. Same thing happened this time.); I used whole wheat flour in the crust; I didn't have any hazelnuts (nor am I particularly fond of them) but I had some almond meal, so I used that instead of chopped nuts in the crust. As a result, my crust was probably smoother than intended, and it is actually remarkably similar in texture and taste to my Chocolate No-Roll Crust. For the topping, I cooked down and strained frozen blackberries and apple juice - sorry, I didn't measure them.
Everyone who tasted this dessert flipped out over it. Many thanks to Shandy of Pastry Heaven for this wonderful pick. If you're interested in the recipe - and you should be - head on over to her blog. Also, this will be the last SMS post for the year. We're taking a baking break as a group, and will be back in the swing of things in January. Don't worry, I'll still be baking and posting plenty of other goodies in the mean time.