Friday, September 19, 2014

KILLER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE: Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames

I love when my worlds of Mystery and Chocolate collide. Today I welcome back my friend Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames. Daryl writes both the Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, so, it's only natural that her recipe for Dying for Chocolate is for Killer Chocolate Cheesecake! Be sure to read on, so you can win one of her fab books and some culinary swag!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames:
Killer Chocolate Cheesecake 

Do you love chocolate? And cheesecake? Have you ever had a dessert where chocolate and cheesecake mesh into something deliciously decadent? You will soon. Read on…

I can’t get enough cheesecake. It is my favorite dessert. I remember the first time I ever ate it at my grandmother’s house. It was a thick, creamy New York-style cheesecake made in a springform pan. None of those paltry cheesecakes poured into a teensy 8-inch pie tin. Uh-uh. I need it to be a hearty slice and rich with cheese and sour cream! I have used my grandmother’s recipe repeatedly over the years. To my surprise, when I ordered cheesecake at the restaurant where my husband and I met, it turned out to be the same recipe. Kid you not! The same. If you’ve ever eaten a Lindy’s cheesecake, that’s what it is like. Decadently good.

And now for making cheesecake even more decadent…

I found this recipe in a cookbook called Luscious Chocolate Desserts. I’d purchased it so I could browse for recipes that might inspire a fun recipe in the 4th installment of the Cookbook Nook mysteries, FUDGING THE BOOKS, which will come out in 2015. STIRRING THE PLOT, the 3rd in the series, comes out September 30! Whee! Anyway, I tweaked the recipe to make the crust gluten-free because that’s a necessary evil for me. I’m celiac. I promise, you won’t know the difference, but if you want to use cookies made with regular flour to make your crust, feel free!

Leave a tasty comment this week because I’ll be giving away a copy of either Inherit the Word or Final Sentence along with some fabulous culinary swag. Be sure to leave your email, so I can get in touch with you.

(ala Luscious Chocolate Desserts Cookbook) 
*tweaked the crust to make this gluten-free 


One package 4.6 ounce chocolate wafers [Cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers; that seemed to much by me. Also, I used gluten-free chocolate cookies.] 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs pinch of salt
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanillin (Cookbook asks for real vanilla)


For crust: 
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below).

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling: 
Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transfer the filling to the springform pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours.

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.

Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

 * * * 

Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30! FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.

STIRRING THE PLOT (3rd in Cookbook Nook Mysteries)

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand to conjure up the truth…

[This is NOT a paranormal story. It is a traditional cozy mystery.]

STIRRING THE PLOT, 3rd in A COOKBOOK NOOK series, September 30, 2014

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Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I like the storyline the cover and a chance to win this book.

cenya2 at Hotmail dot com

Sue Farrell said...

Chocolate and cheesecake---could there be a more perfect combination? Maybe reading one of your books while eating it----that would be pure heaven.

Libby Dodd said...

OK This qualifies as "died and gone to heaven"! Rich, chocolatey, with that incredible cheesecake mouth-feel. Swoon! Sign me up!
libbydodd at comcast dot net

Karen in Ohio said...

Three of my favorite things in one: Halloween, chocolate, and a Cookbook Nook mystery!

Thanks for the recipe. A POUND of dark chocolate! Wow.

k maslowski at fuse dot net

servedogmom said...

No better combination then chocolate and cheesecake. I can imagine our daughters and me fighting over a slice (maybe sharing). A book with delicious chocolate recipes even better.

Moonstruck said...

Two of my favorite things, chocolate and cheesecake. YUM! I will definitely be trying this recipe out.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

How lovely to see you all here! I hope you enjoy this. I know I did. I think I ate the whole thing by myself. I didn't let my husband have more than a slice. He's a diet, I kept telling myself. I'm doing him a favor! LOL

Hugs to all.
Daryl aka Avery

kiki w said...

Great recipie. Love cheesecake. Can't wait to read the new book.


Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Okay, so who went out and bought the ingredients yesterday and already made this? I'm going to the store to make another. (I'm going to exercise and eat my veggies, too. Does that count!!) :)

Daryl aka Avery

Crystal Hernandez said...

Oh my Yum every Blog stop you make is so delicious i cant wait to try this!