Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

For this week's recipe swap, I had a Chocolate Almond Cheesecake from Kate's Recipe Box.  I have to admit that my baking skills are quite lacking.  I always forget an ingredient, the texture is wrong, or it just tastes horrible.  Because of this, cheesecake has always been at the top of my "Don't Make" list because I assumed it would be much too difficult for me.

Lo and behold that I was challenged with a cheesecake for the swap.  So I looked at the ingredients and decided that it looked easy enough to tackle.  I bought a spring form pan from Wal Mart and was ready to make an amazing cheesecake. 

It was super simple to put together.  It wasn't as ingredient cumbersome as some of my other dessert recipes too.  My favorite part was cleanup though.  Usually my kitchen looks like a war zone with ingredients, bowls, spoons, and whisks.  This cheesecake made for a super easy cleanup though.

Chocolate Almond Cheesecake
adapted from Kate's Recipe Box

For the crust:
1 1/2 c. smashed oreos (with the centers taken out)
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. sour cream, divided
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. finely diced almonds
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar

Combine the crust ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt 3 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave for about a minute.  Stir the chips to make sure they all melt together. Set aside.

Whip cream cheese and white sugar together until creamy. Add 1/2 c. sour cream and eggs. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cheesecake center is set.

Blend remaining 1 c. sour cream and brown sugar.  Spread over cheesecake and then sprinkle with the almonds. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Melt remaining 1 oz. chocolate. Drizzle over cheesecake. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

I took this up to my office since I don't like to keep desserts at my house and half of it was gone before 7:30 in the morning.  It was a great cheesecake.  I struggle with restaurant cheesecakes because they are either too plain and not worth the money or they are so rich that you can barely eat the sliver they gave you.  This cheesecake is just interesting enough without being too rich to eat.  It will definitely be thrown into the office dessert rotation again.

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