Fudge Truffle Cheesecake #3
chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
at room temperature
for dusting truffles
Make the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow the mixture to stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the ganache for the cake filling and set aside. Measure out 1 cup of the ganache for the chocolate truffles, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to pipe. Cover the remaining ganache and set aside at room temperature.
Make the filling:
Place the cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream and the vanilla, and whisk until smooth. In the 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at low speed for 30 to 45 seconds, until creamy. Gradually add the sugar in a steady stream and beat at medium speed until blended. At low speed, one at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the reserved 2 cups of chocolate ganache. Beat in the cornstarch mixture. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, smooth the top. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center is set. (There will probably be cracks in the top of the cheesecake; they will shrink as the cheesecake cools and then will be covered with the ganache frosting.) Turn off the oven. Prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour. Set the cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.
Make the chocolate truffles:
Transfer the chilled 1 cup ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #6). Pipe l-inch mounds with pointed peaks onto a clean baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze the truffles for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just firm enough to roll. Sift a light dusting of confectioners' sugar over the truffles. Lightly coat your palms and fingertips with confectioners' sugar. With your fingertips, pinch a truffle into a round, then roll it gently between your palms into a round ball. Place the truffle on the baking sheet, and form the
remaining truffles into rounds. Refrigerate or freeze for about 10 minutes, just until firm. Roll the truffles in sifted cocoa powder to coat. Refrigerate.
Decorate the cheesecake:
Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the side of the springform pan. Remove the side of the pan. Slide two metal cake spatulas under the cheesecake and transfer it to a serving platter. Using a metal cake spatula, spread the reserved room-temperature chocolate ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cheesecake. Place the chocolate truffles around the outside edge of the top of the cheesecake, spacing them evenly. Melt the white chocolate according to the instructions in the Chocolate Key. Using a fork, drizzle/shake the warm white chocolate in a decorative zigzag pattern over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving. (The cheesecake can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days.) Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. With a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut the cheesecake into 12 truffle-topped slices, dipping the blade in hot water and wiping it dry after each slice.
Make the chocolate crust:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Remove the sides from a 10-by-3-inch springform pan. Trim a 10-inch cardboard cake circle so that it fits snugly within the curved lip of the bottom of the springform pan. Cover the circle with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang all around the edges Carefully attach the side of the pan so you do not tear the foil . Wrap the foil overhang halfway up the outside of the pan. (Lining the bottom of the pan in this way will give the cheesecake an even flat base, making it easy to remove from the pan.) In a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter, stirring until well combined. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the ganache and filling.