This year, when I thought of St. Patrick’s Day desserts, visions of chocolate and Irish Cream danced in my head. I quickly hit the Internet, to see if I could find something, and was greeted with an abundance of Irish Cream desserts. Some of them were pretty intense. I chose this one because, well, it just sounded really good. I don’t mind booze in a dessert, but I don’t like “boozy desserts”. Does that make sense? This cheesecake seemed like the perfect combination of all things Irish Creamy and chocolatey. I knew I had to give it a try.
I started by crushing a package of chocolate wafers, mixing the crumbs with some melted butter and cinnamon, and pressing it into my 10-inch springform pan. I also melted down eight-ounces of semisweet chocolate, and let it cool for a bit while I got together the ingredients for the filling.
Cheesecake fillings are pretty standard. You’ve got some cream cheese, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and in this case, chocolate. I mixed them with my mixer until everything was nice and smooth.
This cheesecake, however, required a little luck o’ the Irish. I added 1/2-cup of Baileys Irish Cream to the mixture, as well as a little heavy whipping cream and vanilla. I didn’t have a big bottle of Baileys on me, so I grabbed three mini bottles at the liquor store. It was the perfect amount.
Once the liquids were mixed in evenly, I poured the cheesecake batter into my prepared crust. I wrapped the pan in foil, and placed it in another, bigger, baking dish. To that dish, I added some hot water. I’ve found that baking cheesecakes in a water bath helps to keep them from cracking on the top.
At this point, the cheesecake went into the oven and baked, at 325*, for a full hour.
When the hour was up, I checked on the cheesecake and gave it a little shake. It wobbled in the middle, just a bit. Not too much though, which let me know that it had set up well. Cheesecakes continue to set up as they cool. I let it cool for about twenty minutes in the pan, and then I removed the sides from the pan and allowed the cheesecake to cool for two hours more on a baking rack.
Once it was cool, I placed it on a baking sheet and covered it all with foil, carefully so the foil wasn’t touching the top of the cake. Then, it went into the fridge for a full day before I served it. That’s one nice thing about cheesecakes. They are great to make ahead when you’re entertaining!
Before I took the cheesecake to my book club meeting, I tried my best to make some chocolate shamrocks, to give it a little more St. Patrick’s Day pizzazz Well, they ended up looking more like flowers, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
The cheesecake itself was delicious. Perfectly creamy and chocolatey, with a hint of Irish Cream in the background. It’s just what the leprechaun ordered!
May you have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy some cheesecake!
CHOCOLATE-IRISH CREAM CHEESECAKE
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
- 1 pkg. Nabisco Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed
- 10 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese (I used reduced-fat), softened
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur
- 2 Tbsp. whipping cream, or milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325*F.
- Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, melted butter, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Carefully, press the crust into the bottom and partially up the sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and melted chocolate. Beat with an electric mixer, on medium-high, until smooth. Add the eggs and mix on low until combined. Stir in the Irish Cream, whipping cream or milk, and the vanilla.
- Pour the filling into the crust lined pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan in foil, and place it in a slightly larger baking dish. Pour some boiling water into the outer pan, until it’s about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Place the pans in the oven, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is nearly set, but still jiggles just a bit if you tap the pan.
- Remove the springform from the water bath. Cool the cheesecake in the springform pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, go around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from the side of the pan. Remove the edge of the springform pan and allow the cheesecake to cool for 1-2 hours more.
- Cover the cheesecake and chill, for at least 6 hours to 24 hours, before serving.