I have a confession. Before this week, I had never made cheesecake before. After procuring a springform pan the week before, I was excited to try it out. My best friend Rose and I planned a pizza-and-cheesecake night for Sunday, and her mom sent me home with a pound of cream cheese. The result was deliciousness! The photographs weren’t fabulous, because I took them when it was dark, and when I went back to take some in the daylight, my leftovers were mysteriously nibbled.
Hey! That actually looks like a real cheesecake!
- 2 cups chocolate wafer cookies or Oreos, processed until very fine
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 pounds cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh (not brewed) espresso grounds, finely ground
- 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved into the coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cookies in a small bowl, drizzle the butter over them, and stir, making sure the crumbs are evenly coated with butter. (You might not use all the butter, but that’s okay! I used it all, and ended up having to put a cookie tray under the pan to catch all the extra that dripped from the bottom of the pan.) Press this mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, set aside to cool to room temperature and lower the oven temperature to 200°F.
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and, with the whisk attachment, beat on high until smooth. Add the espresso grounds and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is completely incorporated. Add the egg yolk. Add the coffee mixture, vanilla, and flour. Mix until smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake in the center of the oven for about three or four hours. Shake the pan lightly to test for doneness; if it wobbles in the middle, it’s probably not done yet. Cool it slowly — getting impatient like me and sticking it in the freezer to chill will result in the cracks you see above! Unmold the cheesecake and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 3 hours before serving. (We skipped this step and went straight to the eating, but it’s recommended.)