20 January 2010

Happy Birthday, Eric!

Tomorrow is one of my coworkers birthdays. Eric's one of those really funny guys. He can quote Monty Python, debate politics with you, and complain about customer service all while doing an audit (and does all of those really well). I asked him yesterday what kind of cake he likes and he replied with, "I can tell you what I don't like." Big help there, buddy! The guy likes just about everything and is pretty adventurous. What do you do when you've got carte blanche? I make tiramisu cheesecake!

I cam up with doing the tiramisu cheesecake during our conversation. I had remembered another conversation Eric and I had had about desserts and how he needed a good recipe for the Italian dessert (of which I have and have yet to pass along to him or you).The man loves his tiramisu, and he also loves his cheesecake. What better cake could I make? This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens via Tastebook (I added an ingredient to make it more similar to the tiramisu I make). Enjoy!

This picture is really bad; I promise a better one tomorrow after we cut into at work.

Tiramisu Cheesecake
Recipe by Better Homes and Gardens, adapted by me

3/4 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers (I used chocolate grahams, 2 crackers shy of one pack)
2 Tbl butter, melted
6 ladyfingers, split lengthwise (I used a slightly bigger pan than the one in the recipe so I used one whole package plus one ladyfinger and did not cut in half)
1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee crystals
2 Tbl rum, brandy, or milk (I used coffee liquor by Starbucks)
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, coftened
1 8-oz package mascarpone cheese, softened (you can use one package of cream cheese in place of this, but you can't beat the real thing)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbl cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 8-oz carton sour cram
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Shaved semisweet chocolate (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place pan with boiling water on bottom rack of oven.
  2. For crust, combine wafers and better. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Cut the split ladyfingers in half crosswise; line side of pan with ladyfinger pieces, rounded side out and cut side down. Set aside.
  3. For filling, dissolve coffee crystals in rum, brandy, or milk; set aside. Beat cream cheese and mascarpone until combined. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in cornstarch and vanilla. Add eggs all at once. Beat on low speed just until combined. Stir coffee mixture and chocolate chips into cheese mixture.
  4. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place on top rack in oven, centered over the pan with boiling water. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  5. Remove from oven. Immediately stir sour cream; gently spoon sour cream on top of hot cheesecake; carefully spread to within about 1 inch of edge.
  6. Cool in springform pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a narrow metal spatula to carefully loosen ladyfingers from side of pan. Cool for 30 more minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
  7. To serve, sift cocoa powder over the top and, if desired, sprinkle with shaved chocolate (I bought a couple of Flake bars and topped mine with that instead; specialty stores will carry these stateside since they are a British candy made by Cadbury; YUM!).


Sharon's Mum Anne said...

If you wish, I'll happily send you a selection of chocolate from the UK. My daughter, who lives on Maui, has never been turned on to the American chocolate. I have to send her her fix of English every so often.

Sharon's Mum Anne said...

Addendum to above: happy birthday Eric please recite the "Dead Parrot" sketch - enjoy your birthday cake - it looks delicious.

Sunshine said...

Anne - You always know just what to say to make me happy. I find myself craving Flakes and Crunchies, but also KitKats (you guys make it so much better than we ever did). Luckily, I can get the first two at a specialty grocery in town. Other than that, we are seriously lacking in British amazingness.

Sharon's Mum Anne said...

You have my email address - why don't you write to me and we can have an interesting discussion as to what you might like me to send you :-)

Honey Mim said...

That cheesecake was YUMMY! Good job... Oh and did you - and your friend Anne here - hear that Kraft is buying Cadbury??? How lame is that? If they change ANYTHING bout Cadbury's chocolate, I will cry.

Sunshine said...

Honey Mim - I'm glad you liked it. I feel like I heard that, but I may just be making things up. You might want to stock up before it happens if you're really concerned.