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Kahlúa Chocolate Cheesecake

We recently took this cheesecake to a party and the response was one of overwhelming delight — this is a truly spectacular dessert! Happily, it is rather straightforward to make. Digestive biscuits are similar to our graham crackers and are fairly easy to find at most well-stocked supermarkets. As a reminder, if you can’t get your hands on golden caster sugar, you might whizz some ‘natural’ sugar (that is, sugar with some color on the crystal) in a food processor to grind it finely and substitute that instead. Really, the only difficult thing about this recipe is that the cheesecake must rest in the fridge for three hours before serving, so give yourself a large dose of willpower to withstand the wait. You will certainly be richly rewarded!

Kahlúa Chocolate Cheesecake

For the base:

2 oz. butter (4 tbs.)
8 oz. chocolate-covered digestive biscuits, crushed (13¼ biscuits – the remaining ¾ is the cook’s spoil!)

For the filling:

8 oz. dark chocolate, at least 50% cocoa solids
14 oz. full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. golden caster sugar (½ cup plus 1 ½ tbs.)
4 medium or 3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbs. heavy cream
5 tbs. Kahlúa

For the topping:

8 fl. oz. crème fraîche
2 tbs. Kahlúa

cocoa powder, to serve

Lightly oil the base of a 9-inch springform pan. Melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits. Press into the base using the back of a spoon. Chill while you make the filling.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring halfway through. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, but don’t over beat. With the mixer on low, add the melted chocolate, cream, and Kahlúa. Pour the filling into the base and bake on a baking sheet at 325°F for 55-60 minutes. The top should be shiny, a bit wobbly and darker in the center. (Don’t worry if the top cracks, that is fairly normal.) Run a round-bladed knife around the pan and leave to cool. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Take the cheesecake out of the pan. For the topping, combine the crème fraîche and Kahlúa, and spread over the top. Dust with cocoa powder and serve in wedges with a little Kahlúa poured over each slice.

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