Dark Chocolate Eggnog Cheese Cake - prepared by Keri Graham, Pastry Chef, Kahill's
Layered Dark Chocolate Ganache, Spiced Brandy Cheese Cake
& Tangy Sour Cream
Atop a Chocolate Cookie Crust
2 Cups Finely ground chocolate cookies
7 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 Cup heavy cream
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1-2 teaspoons nutmeg (to your liking)
1/3 cup brandy
1/2 cup eggnog
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Making Crust: Mix chocolate cookie and melted butter together in a bowl. Transfer them to a 9" diameter spring form pan with a 3 inch high side that has been sprayed and lined with parchment. Press mixture firmly along bottom and about 1" up the side of pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Making Ganache: Bring cream to simmer in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate and Kahlua. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour 2 cups ganache over bottom of cooled curst. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temp to use later for decorating.
Make Filling: Position rack in middle of oven of 350 degree oven. Using electric mixer with paddle, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed. Scraping sides and paddle constantly. Once cream cheese is completely smooth add eggs one at a time, scraping sides after each addition. Beat in nutmeg. Still on low speed add brandy and eggnog, beat till incorporated. Last beat in sour cream.
Pour filling over cold ganache in crust - it will go nearly all the way to top. Wrap bottom and sides of cheesecake in tin foil, place on a rimmed cookie sheet. Once cheesecake is in oven add water to pan, this helps prevent cracking of cheesecake. Bake till sides are firm in center has a bit of jiggle to it, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 15 minutes while preparing topping.
Make Topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, 10-15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool completely. Refrigerate till firm, 6 hours or over night.
Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. For a lattice look, pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes or stars around top edge of cake.
Bakers Note: Cake is best made a day ahead, so flavors have time to settle. It can be made up to four days ahead. Wrap loosely, keep chilled.
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