In search of chocolaty recipes to show ya’ll this week in honor of Valentine’s day I came across a recipe for chocolate amaretto cheesecake that sounded and looked delicious. So I made it…..it wasn’t great booo. It wasn’t that it was terrible it just wasn’t what I was looking for, It had to much amaretto, not enough chocolate and NO caramel! I know, what a travesty! So, I set out to revise and rethink the idea a little and in the process I was reminded of a funny to me now story, that was a not so funny story when it happened. Many years ago when I baked for a living, this particular place I worked at thought it was a great idea to have a cheesecake of the day, or cheesecake du jour. It was a part of my job to come up with a new cheesecake every single day, yes, fun at first, but over time you start to run out of ideas! I ran through the usual recipes caramel apple, margarita, strawberry daquri, and in this one instance I was gonna do a chocolate guinness cheesecake ( I know there is a boozy trend here that’s no coincidence) so I made the crust from chocolate cookie wafers, a nice dark chocolate batter, and baked it up perfectly! I’m telling you it could not have been a nicer looking cheesecake. I could not have been more proud. I gave it over to the pantry station with plating instructions and headed home on cheesecake cloud nine. Later that night I got a call from the sous chef asking ” what the hell did you put in this cheesecake?” um…. guinness, I proudly said with a smug smile thinking ah it is so good he has called to compliment me. Why? I asked and waited for my praise. Because we’ve had 5 people send it back it taste like shit! somethings not right, it’s terrible! Do you have any other cheesecakes stashed away we can run as a du jour? I was horrified. What did i do wrong? I could not wait to get to work the next morning to investigate. As soon as i took the smallest taste I knew immediately I had forgotten the SUGAR! What an idiot. Probably the best looking cheesecake I’ve made to date, was the most bitter, disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. It IS funny now, but at the time it was a mistake I couldn’t live down. My coworkers wouldn’t let me, for months no matter what I was making I heard hey, you got sugar in that? Don’t forget the sugar! Hey, wait! Don’t take that out yet, Candice, you got the sugar for that? All very hilarious, really. But, I didn’t forget the sugar this time or any time since then because every single time i make a cheesecake now I always remember this story. This cheese cake is right up there with one of the best ones I have ever made. It has a dark chocolate graham cracker crust with a layer of chewy caramel poured over the top and then topped with a dark chocolate batter that has just a hint of amaretto and almond in it. It is seriously chocolaty and seriously good! I hope ya’ll enjoy it too! Just don’t forget that sugar!
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder ( or hershey special dark)
- 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
- CARAMEL LAYER
- 1 14 oz bag of caramel candies
- 1 can of caramel flavored sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean scraped (optional)
- 1 tbs instant espresso powder
- 8 oz sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 8 oz melted semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbs dutch process or special dark cocoa powder
- 1 tbs amaretto (you can add up to 3 tbs if you so chose)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 Tbs cocoa powder
- whipped topping ( made or bought)
- preheat oven to 350 degrees fit together a 10 inch spring form pan.
- In a large mixing bowl combine crust ingredients and work with a fork until all are combined. pour into pan and press firmly to the bottom and up the sides of the pan, place crust in the oven and bake 5- 8 mins remove and set aside.
- While the crust is baking place the caramel milk and the caramel candies in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook stirring often until all melted and combined. Once crust has cooled slightly, pour caramel over crust and set aside.
- In the mean time melt chocolate using double boiler method or glass bowl over simmering water the same way as the caramel. let cool slightly before adding to the batter.
- Place cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium high speed until creamy and fluffy. Add in the eggs, and vanilla/ vanilla bean continue beating on med. speed. Pour in sour cream, cocoa, amaretto, almond extract, espresso powder, and melted chocolate beat until all combined, turn off mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl,turn mixer back on medium speed and mix one more time just until all incorporated. Pour into crust and spread out evenly with rubber spatula. Place in the oven and bake at least one hour to one hour and ten minutes. remove form the oven when outside of cake is set but the center is still a bit wobbly. run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake but do not remove the rim. Let the cake cool 1 hour before removing the rim. Cover cake with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting but, over night is best. To serve dust with cocoa and top with whipped cream.
recipe inspired by chocolate amaretto cheesecake in 1001 chocolate treats