Recipe: Eggnog Cheesecake
Vegetable cooking spray
1½ cups graham-cracker crumbs (about 11 whole graham crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
3 packages (8 ounces each) regular cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup dairy eggnog
3 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon brandy or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. To prepare the crust: Spray a 10-by-3-inch springform pan with vegetable cooking spray and set aside. Combine the graham-cracker crumbs, sugar and cocoa powder until blended. Stir in the melted butter with a fork. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven five minutes. Let cool on a rack.
2. To prepare the filling: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a food processor to blend. Add the eggs, processing to blend, followed by the eggnog, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Process until blended and very smooth. Set aside a 1 / 3 cup batter.
3. Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooked crust. Whisk the reserved 1 / 3 cup batter into the chocolate until smooth. Spoon the chocolate batter over the batter in the pan and use a small metal spatula to swirl the batters together for a marbled effect. Bake at 350 degrees one hour. Turn off the oven and prop oven door open about 1 inch. Let cheesecake sit in the oven one hour.
4. Remove cheesecake from oven and place on a rack to cool. Refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight.
5. Remove sides of springform pan. Whip cream with brandy or vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Pipe around the edges of the cheesecake and grate or sprinkle nutmeg lightly over the whipped cream.
Adapted by The Seattle Times in 1996 from “Chocolatier Magazine”, December, 1995.