This time every year, the Captain takes over the galley and makes my birthday treat. Chocolate Almond Cheesecake. The mouth-watering tang of cream cheese with the decadent flow of chocolate all infused with almond and vanilla flavor.
The base of this recipe is from Hershey’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook I’ve been using for almost 25 years. I don’t even think it’s in print any longer but I’m sure the new cookbooks are just as fabulous. Did I just say 25 years? Surely I started using this when I was 10, right? Anyway, they have a great website as well for all you chocoholics. It’s worth the visit here .
Chocolate Almond Cheesecake
Hershey’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook, pg. 34
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa (the special dark cocoa works well, too)
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Almond Crumb Crust
Almond Whipped Cream
Sliced almonds (optional)
Almond Crumb Crust
3/4 cups (about 20 wafers) vanilla wafer crumbs (chef’s note: use 28)
1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted (chef’s note: use 4-5 tablespoons, I think he’s been watching Paula Deen too much, but the taste is fabulous.)
Almond Whipped Cream (I’d recommend doubling this, you’ll be glad you did.)
1/2 cup cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Heat oven to 425°. In large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, sour cream and flour; beat on medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and almond and vanilla extracts; beat well. Pour into prepared Almond Crumb Crust.
Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250°; continue baking 55 minutes or until center appears set. Remove from oven to wire rack.
With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Garnish with Almond Whipped Cream and sliced almonds, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Almond Crumb Crust: Heat oven to 350°. In small bowl, stir together vanilla wafer crumbs, almonds and sugar; stir in butter, mixing well. Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes; cool slightly.
Almond Whipped Cream: In small mixer bowl, combine cold whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts; beat until stiff. About 1 cup cream.
5* Family Favorite
This year I spent my birthday at sea, so the cheesecake was stored in the oven as a treat for when we made landfall. Our stove is gimballed and swings level despite what’s happening with the boat. Let me tell you, aging this particular cheesecake is well worth the wait for a once a year indulgence. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite birthday treat? Do you make it yourself or have someone special make it for you?
If you want more Chocolate check out Steena Holmes and her blog: In the end all things succumb to chocolate.