Grahm cracker crust, chocolate cheesecake center, and a toasted marshmallow topping come together to put a twist on this classic dessert. Here's to finishing off summer strong.



Chocolate S'mores Cheesecake

Serves 8-10
Makes one 10" cheesecake
From: bon app├ętit

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (made from 9 whole crackers finely ground in processor; 1 packet)
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until mixture is evenly moistened. Press onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with at least 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until set, about 9 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.


For the Filling:
9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate chips
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs


Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water and cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, and salt in processor and blend until smooth. With motor running, add whipping cream through feed tube and process just until blended. With motor running, add melted chocolate, then add eggs 1 at a time, blending and scraping down sides after each addition until mixture is smooth. Pour batter over crust in pan.

Bake cake until outer edge is slightly puffed and cake is barely set in center (center will look shiny and move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 55 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Run small sharp knife around cake to loosen. Chill uncovered until cold, 8 hours or overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

For the Topping:
1 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 large marshmallows, cut into quarters with wet kitchen scissors
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
[optional toppings]
fresh raspberries
fresh blueberries
graham crackers
powdered sugar
chocolate


Whisk sugar, egg whites, 3 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to blend in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens and is hot to touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water and stir in marshmallows (keep water simmering in saucepan). Let stand until marshmallows soften, about 3 minutes. Set bowl with mixture over simmering water; using handheld electric mixer, beat until stiff shiny peaks form, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Scrape topping onto cheesecake. Using offset metal spatula or pastry bag with fitted tip, spread topping to edges of cake, swirling decoratively. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Use a blow torch to lightly brown topping in spots.  Top cake with chosen optional toppings. Chill cake until cold. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter.



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