My husband is a purest when it comes to food.
He doesn't like alot of seasonings or sauces, just the food, plain and simple.
He likes his cheesecakes plain also, no fruit, no sauces, nothing.
We were having company over for dinner and he asked me to make a cheesecake. I aim to please so I said, sure. I had planned to make a plain ole cheesecake, but then I came across Paula Deen's recipe for Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake. How can you not make something with that name..... seriously?!
I had to, there was no going back. My husband walked in the kitchen mid-cheesecake preparation and said, "oh no, what are doing to my cheesecake!" I explained how I have this problem called "crazy" and I am drawn to crazy things. Explosion Cheesecake!!!! He just sighed and walked out.
Then he tasted it and decided crazy is ok sometimes.
Let me break down the layers for you.
Graham Cracker Crust
Chocolate Fudge-like layer
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Let's get started, it is an all day process so I suggest you make it the day before you need it.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine. Press the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.
6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total). Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and flour until just combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes; let cool.
1/2 cup caramel sauce (I made my own found here)
1 (16 1/2-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
Spread the caramel topping evenly over the cooled chocolate layer.
Get your cookie dough ready by using already sliced refrigerator cookies or if you are feeling extra crazy you can make your own.
Place the cookie dough slices in an even layer over the caramel, pressing gently together to seal the edges.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and flour until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough layer (I suggest you start pouring from the rim of your pan inward so the cookie dough doesn't clump to the edges) and bake until the cake is cracked and browned around the edge, about 1 1/2 hours (depending on your oven, it should not longer be jiggly). I baked it for 1 hour, not done, so baked for another 30 minutes then turned the oven off and waited another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edges to release the crust from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.
Ganache: makes more than enough so feel free to half it
(I use Alton Brown's)
3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Cool.
Spread over the top of cooled cheesecake.
Next time however, I will just drizzle this over the top. It is a very rich cheesecake as is and this just put it over the top rich.
So... note for next time: Drizzle ganache and caramel sauce over slices.
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