Espresso Cheesecake

Course : Cheesecakes
Serves: 10
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1 1/2 cups hazelnuts -- chop/husk/toasted
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter -- melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder -- unsweetened
1 cup fresh brewed espresso
24 ounces cream cheese -- room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs -- room temperature
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel -- grated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup whipped cream
1 Cup chocolate coffee bean candies -- optional

Preparation / Directions:

For Crust: Preheat oven to 3250F. Wrap foil around bottom and up outsides of 9" diameter springform pan. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Press crust into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on rack. For filling: Boil coffee in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup. Cool completely. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and salt in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs and yolks 1 at a time, stopping occaisionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. Mix in espresso, half and half, lemon juice, liqueur, lemon peel and vanilla. Pour filling into crust. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 3250F. Insert toothpick into any air bubbles that appear on surface of cheesecake. Place cheesecake in large baking pan. Add enough cold water to pan to come 3/4" up sides of cheesecake. Bake until cake edges are set but center still moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, approximately 1-1/2 hours. Remove cheesecake from water bath. Discard foil. Transfer cake to rack and cool. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Spoon whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream around top edge of cheesecake. Top each rosette with coffee bean and serve.

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