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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

White Chocolate Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake

* Oreo Cookie Crust (see below)
* 3/4 cup white gourmet chocolate like Ghirardelli chocolate melted with
* 1/4 cup Homemade Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
* 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature (3 - 8 ounce pkgs)
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 2 Tablespoons white flour
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
* Chocolate ganache drizzle (optional)

How to Make an Oreo Cookie Crust

* 13 Oreo cookies or similar chocolate sandwich cookie, crushed fine
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by taking the pan apart. Line the bottom plate with aluminum foil, then reassemble the pan. Pull the excess foil up and around the pan to prevent any batter from leaking into the oven. Spray the sides and bottom with vegetable spray.
* Mix crust ingredients and pat on the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.

How to Make Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake Filling:

* Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place pan of hot water in bottom of oven.
* In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate with Baileys, stirring occasionally until smooth. Make sure no water comes in contact with the chocolate or it will seize up. Remove and keep warm, you can always rewarm it later.
* Using a high-speed mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
* Add eggs and beat until fluffy, scraping sides of bowl a few times and mixing after.
* Add flour, vanilla and salt, beat again and scrape down the sides.
* With mixer on medium speed, add melted white chocolate and Baileys mixture. Do not over mix. Too much air in the batter causes bubbles that can cause cracking. Mix just until creamy and all lumps are gone.
* If you want to go crazy, now is the time to throw in a handful of chocolate chips into the batter, but save a few for the top!
* Pour the cheesecake batter into pan on top of the Oreo Cookie crust.
* Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. Resist the urge to open and close the oven door while baking. It's hard to tell when a cheesecake is done and you don't want to over bake it either, which again causes cracks. The cheesecake is generally done when the sides are set and a little puffy and the very center is slightly wiggly.
* Cool slowly on a wire rack away from drafts and at an even temperature for 2-3 hours.
* Run a sharp knife around the sides. Leave cheesecake in the pan and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Run a sharp knife around the pan once more before releasing sides. Peel the foil off the underside of the pan, gently lift the cake with one hand and peel off the foil sliding the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Drizzle with chocolate ganache if desired.

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