My Mother’s Chocolate “Lovers” Cheesecake

Stop staring.  Ok, I am too.  The Virtual Potluck team is getting together with Taste by N8tion.com to bring you tasty food and drink pairings to make your Valentines Day special.  My contribution is this delish Chocolate Lovers Cheesecake.  But first….

Today I’m going to tell you a little story….then give you the recipe for this OUT OF THIS WORLD no bake cheesecake.  Yes, I’m serious.  Ok, let’s get to the story so we can eat some chocolate.

My Mom was an amazing woman.  She was tall.  She was gorgeous.  When she walked in a room you knew it!  She was a great single Mom for the majority of my childhood.  One thing she wasn’t – an experimental cook.  She had a few killers that she kept in her repertoire (see picture above) but for the most part I grew up on Mac & Cheese (the Kraft kind) and Top Ramen: see the 5th sentence of this paragraph.   Once a year, on February 14th, she would bust out her “killer” and make everyone swoon with delight.  She would always take it to work with her walking proudly like a rooster showing off it’s fine feathers and with good reason.  She knew that she was going to blow the minds of everyone who laid their lips on this cake.  Really, it’s that good.

Before we head off into Chocolate Lovers Wonderland….here’s a bit about the N8tion guys.

“Taste is a new mixology show that features cool cocktails from the common guy. From the creative minds at N8tion.com, our resident “booze head” Otis showcases classic and not-so-classic cocktail recipes. Who is Otis???? We found him under a bar in downtown Atlanta nursing a Corona while holding a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. No seriously, after tending bars for countless college parties, he honed his bartending skills in local taverns on the nights he wasn’t moonlighting as a bouncer. Taste is a product of N8tion.com, an independent television and radio network founded by brothers Myron and Otis McDaniel.”

Now it’s time for Chocolate.  I know you’ve been waiting for a while.  So here we go.  Enjoy!!  p.s. I’ll take any leftovers you might have.  Thanks.  :)

Chocolate “Lovers” Cheesecake
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Ingredients
Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Ganache
4 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons water

Whipped Cream Icing
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1 Melt chocolate chips in top of a double boiler over low heat.  Stir until melted.  Combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until fluffy and smooth.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides.  Add melted chocolate and beat to combine.

2 In another bowl add the heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the chocolate cream cheese mixture gently.  Spoon mixture into a springform mold lined with aluminum foil (or sure 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters as I did that are set on a parchment lined baking sheet).  Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.  Invert onto a serving platter and remove the aluminum foil.

3 In a microwaveable dish add the dark chocolate and water and cook for 30 second intervals until the mixture is melted.  Let cool slightly.  Pour over the top of the cheesecake and set aside.

4 In another bowl add the whipped cream icing ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice (I used a #96 star tip).  Pipe icing on the top of the cheesecake and serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

Note: to make the swirled hearts I melted semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate separately, made a square of aluminum foil and folded up the edges (so the chocolate wouldn’t run out) and then poured both chocolates into the foil and swirled with a chopstick.  Allow to harden and then use a heart shaped cookie cutter and apply light pressure to cut out the shapes.  They can break easily so go slowly.

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