White Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
My first baked cheesecake. What an experience.
It was one of the most peaceful things I’ve baked. Does that make sense? It’s smooth and silky and it takes its sweet time in the oven. You can’t rush it. You just relax. Read a book. Stare into the oven in quiet anticipation. Peaceful.
When it was done I gazed at it with a gleam in my eye. My first cheesecake. It looked so perfect sitting there on the counter with its golden brown slightly poofed top. I didn’t wanna touch it. But I wanted to eat it. And it exceeded my expectations.
The original recipe was from Ms. Humble at Not So Humble Pie. Hers is a White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake, and while that sounded amazing I decided to use my parent’s favorite coffee beans and mix it up.
This recipe is gold. I was the silkiest, smoothest cheesecake I have ever tasted. The white chocolate ganache just takes it to another level all together. If you love cheesecake you’ve gotta try this.
Don’t be scared to bake a cheesecake! It’s easy. Look…
White Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake:
(Adapted from Ray’s Boathouse: Seafood Secrets of the Pacific Northwest via Not So Humble Pie)
- 280g (10 oz) graham crackers (gluten free), crushed into crumbs
- 105g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
- 675g (3 x 8 oz. packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 225g (8 oz) good quality white chocolate, chopped
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso
Preheat the oven to 109ºC/375°F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter in a bowl and mix together until you have the consistency of coarse, wet sand. A good test is to press some of the mixture together in the palm of your hand and it should hold together when you open your hand.
Tip the mixture into a 10-inch spring form pan and press it into the bottom. You want to pack it tight and firm so it holds the filling in later.
Bake the base at 190ºC/375ºF for 10 min and then set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Turn the oven down to 160ºC/325ºF.
Place the white chocolate into a heat proof bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until scalded. This means just before boiling. You know it’s there when you see bubbles forming around the edge of the pan and slight movement in the liquid. Kinda like this…
Pour the cream over the white chocolate in the bowl and allow to stand for about 30 seconds before stirring to combine.
In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand beater) beat the cream cheese until smooth and completely free from lumps.
Pour in the sugar and mix once more, scraping down the bowl every now and again.
With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour in the white chocolate ganache.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gently mix in the vanilla, espresso (1/4 cup – 1/2 cup, depending on how strong you want it) and salt.
Pour the mixture onto the base in the pan and set the pan on 3 sheets of foil. Fold the foil up the sides of the pan to waterproof it.
Set the pan in a large roasting dish and pour hot water into the pan up to half way up the sides of the spring form pan.
Bake at 160ºC/325ºF for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to 150ºC/300ºF for an additional 60 – 90 min. You know its done when the top is slightly browned and raised. When you move the pan gently the cheesecake should have a slight wobble in the center.
Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before removing from the pan and serving.
I covered mine with some left over chocolate ganache mixed with espresso. Hmmmm….