Chocolate Truffled Cheesecake
Adapted from www.godiva.com
Makes 16 servings
1 1/4 cups finely crushed chocolate wafers (about 24)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 small navel orange zest, grated
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
20 Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Truffle Glaze
12 bars Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
A pinch of salt
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
1 pint hulled strawberries, sliced in half
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Make the chocolate crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 9 x 3-inch springform cake pan.
Mix together cookie crumbs and butter in bowl. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake crust for 15 minutes or until it is puffy and bounces back when gently pressed with a finger. Cool crust on wire rack.
Make the cheesecake filling:
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Using two large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap the outside of the pan.
Combine sugar, cornstarch and orange zest in a food processor. Pulse until orange zest is finely chopped.
Add cream cheese to a mixer. Blend until creamy. Add sugar mixture, sour cream, Grand Marnier and vanilla. Mix just until blended.
Add eggs and process just until blended. Turn batter into the chocolate crust-lined pan. Arrange truffles in circle 1 inch from edge of pan. Arrange remaining truffles in center.
Put cheesecake in high-sided roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven. Pour hot water into roasting pan so that the water comes halfway up side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for 70 to 80 minutes or until the sides are slightly puffy and the center quivers. Leave the cheesecake in the roasting pan in the oven and turn off oven. Prop open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Remove foil from outside of the spring-form pan. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan to release the cheesecake from the side of the pan. This will help prevent the top of cheesecake from cracking. Cool the cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Make the chocolate covered strawberries:
Melt chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add Grand Marnier to taste.
Dip ½ of each strawberry into chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool. Refrigerate to cool completely.
Make the chocolate truffle glaze:
Run a thin-bladed knife around edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Remove the side of the springform pan. Slide two long metal cake spatulas underneath the cheesecake and transfer it to a wire rack. Set the rack over a flat baking sheet.
Put chocolate in 1-quart measuring cup with a pouring spout. Heat cream, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Heat mixture until it starts to boil, stirring constantly. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in Grand Marnier and vanilla.
Pour warm truffle glaze over cheesecake, coating it completely. Reserve remaining truffle glaze. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes to set glaze.
Decorate with the choclate covered strawberries.
Fill a small paper cone with some of the remaining truffle glaze. Pipe thin delicate lines over the top of the chilled glazed cheesecake. Keep the cheesecake chilled until ready to slice and serve.