Monday, December 6, 2010

Coffees of Hawaii Coffee Cheesecake

It is no secret to those who know me well that I am a big fan of the coffee produced by Coffees of Hawaii.  I first learned of this coffee when they became a sponsor of the triathlon/cycling team that my husband belongs to, Pacific Velo.  We ordered some of their coffee to try and we have never looked back.  It is definitely my preferred coffee and the one that we brew morning, noon, and night.  It was a little bit of a shock to look back and see how much we had ordered (and consumed) in one year.  However, it was worth every penny for this liquid gold.


Not only do I love their coffee, but the company's philosophy is admirable too.  They are committed not only to offering the finest coffee, but they donate 1% of their revenues to support both culture and ecology in the Hawaiian islands.  "Malama Hawaii. There is nothing like it anywhere else on planet Earth".  Their website also offers a history of coffee in Hawaii and some wonderful Hawaiian proverbs.



We had some of the team members over for burgers this weekend and I thought it would be fun to make desserts that featured Coffees of Hawaii coffee in them.  My absolute favorite is the Ka'u coffee. We brewed up some extra strong coffee and finely ground some beans so that we could make sure they flavor shone through in the desserts.


 
I knew exactly which dessert I wanted to make first.  Recently the blog Liv Life featured a Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake that I thought would be perfect to try.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe and the Coffees of Hawaii Coffee Cheesecake was born.  The main changes I made were to feature the coffee flavor a little more, and to re-arrange the layers.  I added ground Ka'u coffee to the base and topping, and added brewed Ka'u coffee to the filling and ganache - I wasn't joking when I said I wanted the coffee flavor to shine through.  Although there are a few steps to putting this cheesecake together, they are very easy steps, and it is well worth the effort.  Contrary to popular belief, cheesecakes are not hard to make.


One of the tricks I use when making a cheesecake is to line the removable base of my pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  This makes life so much easier when it comes to moving the cheesecake on to a serving platter.  Of course you could also use a springform pan with a glass bottom that also acts a a serving dish but where is the excitement in that?  Just kidding, they are a godsend sometimes, but I don't have one so I have to work with what I've got.  Another is not to over-mix the cheesecake filling as you do not want bubbles in your cheesecake - remember, bubbles in champagne = good, bubbles in cheesecake = not so good. 




















Lastly do not make the mistake of waiting until the filling is set when baking the cheesecake.  It should still be a little "jiggly" in the middle when you remove it from the oven as it will continue to cook more as it gradually cools.  I'll show you an example below of what happens when you leave it in too long.  I'll also show you that this can easily be fixed, so don't worry if you too end up with a crack in your cheesecake the size of the Grand Canyon.


















Just think of the cracks as flavor opportunities.  There are many ways to cover this up such as a sour cream or whipped cream topping, fresh fruit, or do a I did and fill it with chocolate ganache. Chocolate makes everything better.  I filled the cracks first and then poured a topping of ganache over the whole cheesecake.  I let it firm up a bit and then pressed ground Oreos and coffee on top.  Problem solved.



































Coffees of Hawaii Coffee Cheesecake

Ingredients
Crust 
  • 20 Oreo cookies 
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup finely ground Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee beans 
  • 5 Tbs melted unsalted butter
Ganache 
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 16 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup strongly-brewed Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee
Filling 
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 shot of strongly-brewed Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee
  • 2 tablespoons ground whole Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee beans (medium grind)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs 
Crumb Topping
  • 5 Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup finely ground Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee

Preparation
For Crust

  1. Finely chop cookies in a food processor.
  2. Add butter and brown sugar and process.
  3. Transfer crumbs to 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. 
  4. Press crumb mixture firmly over bottom of pan.


For Ganache
  1. Bring whipping cream to simmer in large saucepan.Remove from heat.
  2. Add chocolate and coffee. 
  3. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth.  
  4. Reserve ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for topping.


For Filling
  1. Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. 
  2. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended.
  3. Beat in flour.
  4. Stir in brewed coffee, ground coffee, and vanilla into cream cheese mixture. 
  5. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
    Pour filling over crust. 
  6. Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. 
  7. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and center 2 inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes. 
  8. Transfer cheesecake to rack.
  9. Cool cheesecake on the rack until room temp.  
  10. Pour enough ganache over the top of the cheesecake to make a top layer and refrigerate for about 10 minutes
  11. Sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies and coffee beans over the top as a light crumb topping.
  12. Refrigerate overnight.
To Serve
  1. Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides.
  2. Transfer cheesecake to a serving  platter. 
  3. Can be made 4 days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil; keep chilled.
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8 comments:

  1. MMM!!! Your changes were indeed perfect. I think you've convinced me to actually put the ganache on top next time as well, you cut slice makes is look so beautiful!
    So glad you posted the links to the coffee... in our short trip I had no less than 3 people recommend the Ka'u coffee... I think we must try it!!

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  2. This is my kind of cheesecake! I love all of the flavors in this. Delicious!

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  3. OMG, this looks amazing. I am going to try to make this.

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  4. This cheesecake sounds absolutely amazing! I can imagine the silkyness with the coffee flavors...it must have been heavenly :)!

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  5. Coffee cheesecake, now that is truly indulgent. I'd love a slice.

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  6. OMG! This looks wonderfully delectable... and I don't even like cheesecake that much!

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  7. Holy mackeral!! I can see you are some kind of cheesecake baking queen! This one should be illegal it looks so fantastic. My absolute favorite flavors in my absolute favorite kind of dessert.

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