Thursday, September 20, 2007


I found out when I created this cheesecake that some cheesecake lovers are purists. Guy is one of those. He hated this recipe, although everyone else who tasted it raved about it, including me. I love the chocolate-orange flavors and the lighter texture of this New York-style cheesecake. If you like traditional cheesecake, stick to the Best of the Best or the Lindy's recipes. This recipe made an 8" and a 9" cheesecake. The 8" went to the freezer and the 9" made a lot of neighbors happy. Cheesecakes freeze very well (just go look in the frozen food section of your local grocery store) and are great to have on hand for company, or even for yourself. You can cut from a frozen cheesecake and then put the rest back into the freezer. And anything you make is superior to anything you can buy.

Triple Sec-Orange-Chocolate Cheesecake
INGREDIENTS: 2-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup semi-sweet morsels
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. orange zest
3/4 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3 8-oz. pkgs. Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese), room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 pt. (2 cups) lite sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. Triple Sec (I used Bols)
1 Tbsp. orange zest
12 oz. of good quality chocolate (bar or morsels)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Chopped toasted walnuts, if desired

DIRECTIONS: Make crust: Place first 5 ingredients in work bowl of food processor and pulse till combined. Spray a 9" and 8" springform pan (or a 10" if you prefer) with non-stick cooking spray on bottom and side. Place pans in center of 12" squares of aluminum foil and press foil up around sides of pans. Press crumb mixture onto bottoms and 3/4 up sides of pans. Chill while making filling.
Make Filling: Wipe work bowl of food processor with damp paper towel. Put 1 pkg. of cheese in bowl. Pulse till smooth. Add sugar. Pulse till smooth. Add remaining cheese, one block at a time, pulsing till smooth after each addition. Repeat with egg yolks, one at a time. Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate bar and cream), pulsing just till combined. In separate large bowl, beat egg whites till stiff. Fold whites into cake batter gently by hand until well blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (or 325 if you are using dark or coated pans) for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until top is golden; turn off oven heat and allow cakes to cool in oven for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on wire rack at room temperature.
When cakes are cooled, make topping: Melt chocolate in small saucepan over low to medium heat till melted. Add cream and stir till dissolved. Do not boil. Carefully spread over cakes. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts if desired. Refrigerate overnight before serving. For directions using mixer, see Best of the Best Cheesecakes recipe on this blog.

Additional note: I baked these cakes one at a time, because of the difference in size. The 8" cake did not take 1 hr. 15 minutes to bake. It was more like an hour, but you can never rely on exact times with any baked item; you always have to check it for doneness, even if you have baked it 50 times, because there are just too many variables in the baking process. Remember that baking times are just a guide. Cheesecakes are not that hard to make, so give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out.

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