Thursday, January 24, 2008

German Chocolate Cheesecake

So good. So, so good. And so, so rich. Inspired by an episode of Throwdown on the Food Network.

For the crust:
8 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake layer
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

For the cake layers:
1 box German Chocolate cake mix (if you have a favorite recipe from scratch, you can use it, but I just prefer the box stuff)
Eggs, oil, water in quantities listed on the cake mix box

For the frosting:

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white sugar
3 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the graham crackers, pecans and brown sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture just comes together. Spray the bottom and side of the pan with cooking spray. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until lightly golden brown and just set, about 8 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and let cool completely.

To make the cheesecake layer, put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each. Beat in the cream just until it's completely blended. Be careful not to overmix!

Gently spoon the batter into the springform pan and place it in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake the cake at 350 degrees F until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and cool in the pan for 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate (while still in the pan) until it's completely cold, about 4 hours. Place in the freezer until ready to assemble the cake.

Meanwhile, make the German Chocolate Cake per the instructions on the box. Bake it in a deep 9-inch cake pan that has been covered in foil (to allow easier turn-out). Allow to cool completely. When cool, use a large (and sharp) knife to cut the cake into two separate (and, ideally, even) layers.

Now make the frosting.
In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut.

Time to assemble! First,
remove the cheesecake from the freezer and let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes. Place one layer of german chocolate cake, top side down, on a cake plate and spread with some of the frosting. Release and remove the ring of the springform, then remove the frozen cheesecake from the bottom of the pan. Place top side down on the frosted cake layer and spread with some frosting. Top with the second devil's food layer, top side down. Spread with more frosting. If the cheesecake is still solidly frozen, refrigerate for two hours before serving to allow to thaw enough to cut evenly. Enjoy!


Jen said...

It's official.....

I think I need you to come move in with us and show me how to do all of these amazing recipes....

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness that looks deadly and delicious. Mmmmm...

Becky said...

I had to scroll down way to far to even think about trying this one even though it looks fantastic. I like recipes with 5-10 lines of text. :)