Friday, March 15, 2013

Bacon Stout Chocolate Cheesecake

Yep, you read that right. Bacon, beer, chocolate and cheesecake all wrapped up in one dessert.  This could be considered perfection among many foodies (as well as my husband).

For Christmas this past year, I gave Andrew a 12 days of Christmas themed gifts.  Day 12 was 12 months of pie.  I promised him that I would make him one pie a month all year since pie is his favorite dessert.  Cheesecake counts as pie right? Well it does in my book.  January was a chocolate pretzel pie that ended up being a partial fail (and a total blog fail that I never got a post written for it).  So I'm making up for it with this one and hope to let you see all the pies I made.

I found this recipe pinned on Pinterest and knew that I had to try it.






Bacon Stout Chocolate Cheesecake (recipe from Tide and Thyme)


For the Crust:
4 standard sized graham crackers
1 cup pretzel rods
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted

For the filling:
7 oz dark chocolate (60%)
1 cup stout (a chocolate stout or coffee stout is lovely)
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tbs flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tbs espresso powder
3/4 cup
beer-candied bacon, finely chopped

For the topping:
2/3 cup hot fudge sauce
1/2 cup beer-candied bacon, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Place one oven rack in the middle position, with one rack below. Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor add the graham crackers, sugar and the pretzels and process until it’s the consistency of crumbs. Turn the food processor on, and slowly stream in the butter and process until it resembles wet sand.

Spray the inside of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the processed crumbs into the spring form pan. Using the bottom of a heavy, flat bottom glass, press the crust very well into the bottom of the pan until well compacted.

In a pot over medium high heat, add the beer and the chocolate, stir until melted and remove from heat. Allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and the sugar and mix until smooth. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions. Pour the cooled chocolate into the mixer and beat until well combined. Lift the head of the mixer and add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and bacon over the batter, stir on low speed until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.

Place the pan in the oven in the middle position. Place a baking dish on the rack below the cheesecake, fill with water.

Bake the cheesecake until the center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack, about 45-50 minutes. This isn’t a situation where a tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean, you just need the center to set and it will continue to set as it cools. Remove from oven.

For the topping, warm your hot fudge sauce so that it is pourable. Pour onto the center of the cheescake carefully, and allow to sit and solidify for 15 minutes. Top the chocolate with the chopped bacon. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and continue whipping on high until stiff peaks form. Place in piping bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used Wilton 2D) and pipe border of whipped cream around the edge.

Source: inspired by Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, base cheesecake recipe from The Beeroness

 


Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert.  I usually like it plain and simple so its rare for me to make such a "fancy version".  It was good overall and very rich (which was good because it kept me from eating the whole thing in less than 2 days).  I would prefer it a little sweeter. 
I'm a firm believer in making the recipe exactly the first time to see what it is supposed to be and then making changes (if any) the next time.  FYI - Paula Deen also follows this policy so you know, all the cool kids do it that way.
 
So, here are my thoughts on how I will change it next time:
- the candied bacon in the mixture itself got kind of chewy so I would skip it in the batter and only use it as a garnish on top
- I would use sweetened cocoa powder or add some extra sugar
- I used a chocolate stout - I might try and oatmeal stout next time to add a bit more sweetness.
- I would give it another 20 minutes or so in the oven - the middle didn't get baked all the way through and you could really taste the beer.
- Definitely use real do it your self whipped cream.  I used the canned stuff (I'll admit it, I was straight up lazy.  I even had all the ingredients to do whipped cream.) and it just melts after a few minutes.
Happy Cheesecake making!


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