It’s crunch time for those of us who love to bake during the holiday season. Kitchens filled with scents of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Cupboards and refrigerators stocked with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. And those mixers and ovens… working overtime. These are a few of my favorite things. Also on my list? Tiramisù Cheesecake. Although I make it throughout the year, It’s a requirement for Christmas. It’s special, unexpected and makes everyone swoon.
I have many Christmas traditions I like to follow, mostly centered around charity, values and decorating. When it comes to food traditions, however, they tend to be ever-changing. I enjoy coming up with new and different menus each year, but there are a few recipes (like this one) that I consider staples. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a recipe for a tiramisù cheesecake from the magazine, Fine Cooking. What a great idea, two of my favorite desserts in one! I adjusted the recipe to my taste, making it my own, and it has been putting smiles on faces ever since. It’s creamy, decadent and perfectly sweet. And even though it looks like it took a lot of effort to prepare, it’s deceptively simple.
Aside from being an outstanding holiday dessert, it also makes for an impressive display when entertaining or treating a loved one to a homemade birthday cake. My dear friend, Jessica, recently held a birthday party for her husband, Aaron. Her talents are many, most notably, her party planning abilities. She has opened her doors for gatherings of all sorts, weddings, baby showers and birthdays. Her home is always warm and inviting, the table settings and dishes served, you’d want to pin on your Pinterest boards and all done with such grace and love. Okay, so Jessica is amazing, but why am I bringing this up? Back to the birthday party for her husband. In addition to her party planning skills, she’s also a busy mom to three little ones with a full-time job outside the house. Helping her out by making the birthday cake, was the least I could do. When deciding on what to make, I immediately thought of this cheesecake. It serves many because only a small slice is needed per guest, It’s best prepared the day before, giving you extra time on the day of your gathering and…most importantly, It. Is. Soooooo. Delicious!
Here are some tips to keep in mind when making this cheesecake:
- The cream cheese, mascarpone, and eggs need to be at room temperature.
- Once eggs are added to the batter, beat slowly and do not overwhip. Overwhipping will put too much air into your cheesecake and cause cracks.
- Remove cheesecake while it still has some jiggle to it.
- The cheesecake must be completely cooled (preferably refrigerated overnight) before serving.
One more note before diving into the recipe. I am lucky enough to have a cousin who is the Director of Coffee for Dave’s Coffee in Rhode Island. He gave me the coffee syrup I used in this recipe as a gift. Coffee syrup, if you’re not from Rhode Island, may be foreign to you, but Rhode Islanders regularly put this delicious syrup in milk (as you would chocolate syrup) for a special treat. I love it, it’s like a sophisticated chocolate milk. I have been wanting to use it in a recipe and thought it would be perfect in this cheesecake. And…it is! The syrup is easily purchased online through Dave’s website and Amazon as well. You will find many uses for your syrup, such as, adding to whipped cream or ice cream, yum! Put some Dave’s coffee in your basket while picking up your syrup, it’s awesome!!! P.S. a fun fact about my cousin Adam, the Director of Coffee, he chose the name for this food blog. I immediately fell in love with the name, that was it, done! It pays to have a younger, hipster cousin, who won’t admit he’s a hipster but totally is. Now, go make this cheesecake and bring happiness to a bunch of people by doing so!
Yields: (1) 9-inch cheesecake Serves: 12-14 Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
- 1 (9 oz. package) chocolate wafer cookies (like these), finely crushed or processed in a food processor
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (8 oz.) tub mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup coffee syrup (like Dave’s) or 1/4 cup coffee liquor
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
- 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- cocoa powder
- sweetened whipped cream placed in a piping bag fitted with a star tip
- cocoa dusted almonds or chocolate covered espresso beans