Cheesecake is really not that hard to make, this version falls into the stupid easy category. Why? I use eagle brand sweetened condensed milk rather than sugar as it yields a creamier texture without as much work trying to cream it all. All the sweetness without the risk of a grainy cheesecake.
A secret to keep the large cakes from cracking too much is to add 1 tablespoon of corn starch to the batter. The starch blends nicely with the fats in the cream cheese and creates just enough stabilization to keep the cake from cracking too badly in the center.
Melting the chocolate can be as easy as using a double boiler or if in a hurry a microwave. If using microwave heat on high for only 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each micro-blast. This will keep the chocolate for scorching. Total microwave time in a 1200 watt unit worked out to be about 30 seconds.
- 1 pkg graham crackers (8 crackers)
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/3 c melted butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
- 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips melted
- 4 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 T instant coffee
- 1 T corn starch
- 9 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
Combine crackers and sugar in food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Pulse in melted butter until evenly blended. Press into 9 inch spring form pan.
Combine cream cheese, coffee, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Let sit about an hour until it comes to room temperature. In mixer beat until creamy and fluffy. Beat in corn starch. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.
Add the filling to the spring form pan. Put in preheated 300F oven and bake for about 65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature and then chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.
Make ganache by mixing chocolate chips and whipping cream. In microwave heat 1 minute on high then stir. Give it 1 more minute on high then stir until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the cream. Cool to room temp then drizzle over the chilled cheesecake. (There will be leftover ganache that you can save to make truffles or even use as a frosting for cupcakes).
Mini Cheesecake variation. Line 24 cupcake pans with paper liners. Divide the graham cracker crumb mixture between all of the tins. Press lightly to compact. Divide the filling between the paper liners filling just until the top of the liner. Bake in 300F oven 25-30 minutes until the centers test clean with a toothpick. Chill and garnish with the ganache.