Friday, October 26, 2007

The girl bakes! Chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake

Here is what I hope to be a weekly installment to the blog: The girl bakes! I've mentioned that I don't eat a lot of prepackaged snacks, and that is partly because I've always made my own. I've been baking since I was a kid, but it's always been basic things like cookies, brownies, and box-mix cakes. Over the past year, however, I've been getting more adventurous. Today's edition of The girl bakes! covers my first cheesecake: Chocolate Kahlua.

I used a ready-made graham cracker crust because we happened to have one, and I didn't have the ingredients to make one from scratch. I adapted the filling recipe from two different recipes that I found in an old cookbook. One recipe called for amaretto, but I decided to substitute Kahlua. Here's what I came up with:

Ingredients:

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

3. Add eggs one at a time, stirring just until combined. You don't want to over-beat, so I would do this by hand.

4. Stir in Kahlua and chocolate chips.

5. Pour mixture over crust and bake for approximately 35 minutes. I took it out when just the center 2-3 inches still appeared moist.

I didn't have any cream to whip, so I skipped the toppings. The cake is rich, dense, and smooth. The Kahlua flavor is there, but it isn't overpowering. I would actually prefer it to be a little stronger, but then, I really like Kahlua. The rest of my family enjoyed it as well.

I'm very pleased with the way this came out. I would definitely make it again, but next time I would make my own crust with either graham crackers or shortbread cookies. The ready-made crust was actually a bit too small, and I had to toss a little bit of the filling out. I'll also top this with some whipped cream next time.

(10/6/07)

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