This is a recipe I’ve made for special occasions for about 30 years, but I had stopped making it when I gave up chocolate. I missed this decadent dessert as it had been a family favorite. Our nuclear family’s tradition was that on your birthday, you got to select the entire menu, no matter how difficult, and it would made from scratch. We would make our own ravioli, sauce, and still create whatever dessert was requested. My kids both learned early in life that chocolate cheesecake was a dessert worth asking for.
For my daughter’s eighth birthday party, I lovingly made her favorite—this labor-intensive chocolate cheesecake. I still cry (metaphorically) when I think of how her young friends took one bite and then refused to eat more. All of that beautiful cake went into the trash.
If you’re a cheesecake lover, you’ll be thrilled to eat this chocolate cheesecake (or share it with your cheesecake-loving friends). It’s worth the time it takes to prepare. And be sure to read through the entire recipe, as it requires a number of ingredients be prepared in advance (hot coffee, soft butter and cream cheese, melted chocolate, etc.)
Sorghum Flour Pressed Pie Crust
1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup walnuts, pulverized in a blender
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar (in two 1/3 cup quantities)
1 1b. (2 8-oz. packs) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life®)
1/2 cup hot coffee
2 tablespoons dark rum (rum that is not flavored is considered gluten-free)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulverize walnuts in a blender. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed. Press (do not roll) into a 9-inch springform pan. (If possible, cut a piece of parchment paper about 1-inch larger than the bttom of the pan to seal the butter; otherwise, place a cookie sheet on the oven rung below the pan to catch any melted butter.)
Melt chocolate using warmer tray, warmer burner, or double boiler. Add hot coffee, rum, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks with only 1/3 cup sugar until lemon-colored. Cut cream cheese into one-inch cubes and beat into egg mixture. Then beat in chocolate mixture.
Whisk egg whites to soft peak stage. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peak stage is reached. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites carefully into chocolate mixture.
Pour onto crust and bake one hour at 350 degrees; do not use the convection option. If you did not line the pan with parchment, place a cookie sheet below the pan to keep butter from dripping on oven floor. Bake until top is set. Open oven and allow to cool for the first hour in the oven. Refrigerate at least four hours before eating. Yield: 12 servings.
My son came home for the holidays and requested this chocolate cheesecake. It might have been the first time I’d baked one when it wasn’t for someone’s birthday. The only adjustment I had to make was to change the typical graham cracker crust. No one missed it. And, we took the liberty of breaking off a few bites of the cake when it was room temperature, just before it was chilled. It was delicious! No one will ever suspect that this is a gluten-free alternative.
So make a New Year’s resolution to try this rich and delicious dessert. Your friends and family will thank you.