Another amazing dessert recipe just in time for Saint Patrick's Day: Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake! Luscious, creamy cheesecake flavored with a hint of Irish Cream topped with swirls of chocolate baked atop an Oreo cookie crust and garnished with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Sound like heaven?
Cheesecake may seem hard to make, but it's actually quite easy as long as you know the proper techniques. Here's how you do it:
3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
1/3 cup sour cream
4 oz bittersweet, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chopped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
24 oreos, crushed (no need to remove the filling)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 300 and place oven rack in the center of the oven.
To make the crust:
Place the oreo crumbs in a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the top and combine using a fork. Press evenly onto the bottom and 1" up the sides of an 8" springform pan. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
To make the chocolate topping:
Place the chopped chocolate (or you can use chocolate chips) and the heavy cream in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.
To make the filling:
Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until well combined and creamy, approx 1 minute. It is essential that your cream cheese is at room temperature to prevent lumpy batter and ovemixing. You should be able to easily press the tip of your finger into the cream cheese. I usually set my cream cheese out on the counter a few hours before.
Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Be sure to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula after adding the second egg. This will help to break up any remaining lumps when you beat in the 3rd egg. Your batter needs to be lump free before you do the next step.
Add the vanilla, Baileys creamer and sour cream. Mix just until combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and scrape the bowl using a rubber spatula to get all of the batter out of the bowl. If you happen to see any lumps at the bottom of the batter, leave those out. You don't want any lumps in your cheesecake.
Dollop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate on top of the batter and create swirls using a knife or wooden toothpick/skewer.
Place in the preheated oven and put a large baking sheet or sheet of foil on the bottom of your oven to catch any drippings that may leak out of the bottom of the pan. There won't be much but if you don't protect the bottom of your oven you might get a smoky oven. Trust me.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Do not open the oven until it's time to start checking for doneness. Check at the 50 minute mark by gently shaking the pan. The edges of the cheesecake should be set and the center should still jiggle slightly. If there is too much "jiggling", close the oven and bake for a few minutes more then check again. Try not to check too often. Sudden temperature changes will cause cracks in your cheesecake.
When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and prop open the oven door slightly. I use a wooden spoon to prop mine open. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door slighly ajar for 1 hour. This cools the cheesecake slowly which helps prevent cracks.
After one hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool to room termperature then cover and refrigerate overnight. To achieve the best consistency, cheesecake must chill in the oven at least 8 hours but ovenight is better.
When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the ring from the springform pan. At this point you can place on a platter with the bottom of the pan still on the cheesecake or you can remove it by running a sharp thin knife underneath the crust to loosen then use a large spatula to transfer to the platter.
Garnish as desired. If you will be serving the whole cheesecake, you can top with fresh whipped cream and other garnish for a dramatic presentation or just top the individual slices with the whipped cream and desired garnish.
For this cheesecake, I topped it with Bailey's Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings.
To make the Bailey's Whipped Cream - whip 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of the Bailey's Irish Cream Coffee Creamer until just before it forms soft peaks, with the mixer still running sprinkle 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Fresh whipped cream should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few hours.