Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Junior's Tiramisu Cheesecake

This recipe is from Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen, all rights reserved. This is an awesome book that has so many wonderful recipes. This must-have book has a lot of tips for baking the perfect cheesecake.
I am not sure if the copyright laws allow me to post the recipe on my blog. I am going to go ahead and post the recipe and hope I won't get in trouble.

Text © 2007 by Junior's Cheesecake, Inc.
All pictures belong to kittytwedy, the administrator of A Foreigner in the United States.

For the Cheesecake:

1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon instant freeze-dried espresso or coffee
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat),at room temperature
1 1/3  cups sugar
1/4 cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan will aluminum foil,covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.

2. Stir the water and espresso together in a small cup until dissolved. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstrach in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low intil creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down a couple of times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Add coffee into the cream, add to the cream cheese mixture, and beat just until it's completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter into the springform.

3. Place in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light brown and the top is light tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or for at least 4 hours.

For the Tiramisu Syrup and Ladyfinger Layer:

1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon instant freeze-dried aspresso or coffee
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
22 ladyfingers (9 for the layering and 13 for the ring around the edge) split

4. Make the tiramisu syrup. Combine the water and espresso in a small sauce-pan until dissolved. Add the sugar and Kahlua, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer, uncovered for 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Top the cold cheesecake (still in the pan) with a layer of split ladyfingers, rounded-side down (you will need 18 halves). Transfer the cake to the freezer until completely frozen, at least overnight and/or until ready to assemble.

For the Mascarpone Cream:

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored granulated gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1 1/2 cups cold heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
One 8- to 10-ounce carton mascarpone cheese

5. When you're ready to assemble the cake, make the mascarpone cream. Place the gelatin in a heatproof measuring cup, stir in the cold water, and let stand until it sweels and thickens. Cook in the microwave on high about 30 seconds or over a pan of simmering water for about 1 minute, until clear and completely melted. In a medium-size bowl, whip the cream with the mixer on high until it thickens and soft peaks just begin to form. With the mixer still running, add the sugar and beat just until the cream stands up in peaks ( don't overmix or the cream will curdle). Beat in the vanilla. Add the melted gelatin all at once and beat  until throughly incorporated. Gently fold in the mascarpone with a rubber spatula.

6. Remove the cake from the freezer and let it stand at room temperature about 10 minutes. Release and remove the sides of the springform, then remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a cake plate. To attach the remaining ladyfingers (26 halves) to the outside of the cake, spread a thin layer of the mascarpone cream over the flat split sides of the ladyfingers. Stand them up around the edge of the cake, rounded-side out pressing each one gently in place. Spoon the remaining mascarpone on top of the cake and gently even out with a metal spatula; it will come up almost to the top of the ladyfingers. Since the cheesecake is still very cold, the mascarpone cream will set fast.

For The Topping:

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate made into Chocolate Curls
1 tablespoon unsweetenedcocoa  powder

7. To decorate, cover the top of the cake with the chocolate curls, then sprinkle evenly with the cocoa. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until the mascarpone layer is cold and set and the cheesecake layer has defrosted enough to slice easily. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

What I did different than the recipe is this: I used Italian savoiardi instead of  American ladyfingers; I put whole savoiardi on top of the cheesecake; I made double the amount of the mascarpone cream; I drizzled some tiramisu syrup on the standing savoiardi.