Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pistachio cheesecake

Boppa has requested that Heather make a pistachio cheesecake. She did a little research then made it. It is a hybrid of Junior's chocolate cheesecake and several other recipes. It is very chocolaty but the pistachio pudding in the filling gives it a great texture. The crust is chocolate graham crackers. Nat Ray really seemed to like it too. She left what we didn't inhale for Boppa to take to the Mermaid Cafe to share.

Heather’s Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake
1 pkg chocolate graham crackers
2/3 cup sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted

½ cup crushed pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 8 or 9 inch springform pan (preferably a non-stick one). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
2. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients together.
3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake

1 recipe Crust (above)
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat) at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla extract
2 Extra-Large eggs
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 pkg pistachio pudding
2/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup crushed pistachios
4 oz melted Bittersweet Chocolate (preferably Ghirardelli)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the cake crust and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.
2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with and electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one.
3. Increase the mixer spped to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Add in the pistachio pudding, cocoa powder, chocolate and crushed pistachios. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away -- don't move it). Then, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or from at least 4 hours.

Ganache Recipe:
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Spread ganache over the cooled cheesecake letting it run over the sides. Use another ½ cup of crushed pistachios to sprinkle on the ganache. Serve and enjoy!

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