Friday, August 21, 2009

German Chocolate Cheesecake


2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) sweet butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds fromage blanc; softened
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces dark semisweet baking chocolate, cut into bits
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar (divided use)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate  
For crust, combine chocolate wafer crumbs, sugar, and butter in medium bowl. Blend well with fingers, fork, or pastry blender. Press or pat mixture onto bottom and sides of well-buttered springform pan. Chill in freezer or refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300°F.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat fromage blanc, cornstarch, sour cream, and almond extract until smooth. In a small saucepan, scald the heavy cream, then remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. Add chocolate bits and stir until chocolate is completely melted. With wire whisk, beat mixture until it is cooled and light in texture. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until very thick and smooth. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, and beat until everything is smoothly combined. Add cream cheese mixture to chocolate mixture and beat again until very smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into cheese mixture and pour into chilled shell. Place springform pan inside larger pan containing 1 inch of water and bake 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the topping, melt chocolate and spread thinly on sheet of wax paper; refrigerate 30 minutes. With a flat knife, scrape the chilled chocolate into curls and cut into six 2-inch-long strips. Carefully remove sides of springform pan.,Spread whipped cream evenly over top of cake and garnish with chocolate curls.
Transfer cake to serving dish and serve.


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