Happy 2012 to you all! I’m truly glad to have kissed 2011 goodbye, and am looking forward to what this next year will bring. Adam and I had a low-key New Years Eve with homemade cheese fondue, and I spent a good portion of the evening concocting this recipe.
I got it set in my head that I would be bringing a dessert to our annual New Years / Christmas / Hanukkah celebration with Eo and her family, and when cream cheese was on sale at the produce market, it seemed to be a given that cheesecake was the dessert of choice.
I’m really a cheapskate when it comes to baking. If a recipe requires too many “odd” or specialty ingredients, I’m likely to say “forget it” and make up something else. This was spawned from things being on sale for $1, and a vague memory that everyone I know seems to like graham crackers. And marshmallows. And chocolate, of course.
The concept is simple. A graham cracker crust, chocolate cheesecake filling, toasted marshmallows and graham crumbs on top. The execution was a little bit more of a challenge. I don’t have a springform pan, and any time I make up a recipe, it turns out way more, what’s the word, ginormous, than I was originally planning.
I originally thought this would be like a cheesecake bar. It became increasingly obvious as I mixed and poured that indeed, this would be a thick and dense cheesecake. Not a terrible mistake, if I say so myself.
For a thinner, more bar-like cheesecake, halve everything but the graham crackers, but keep the pan size the same (9×9). For a more traditional cheesecake, bake in a springform pan with a water bath. I used particularly dark chocolate, but feel free to use semi-sweet, milk, or even white chocolate as a substitute.
Ingredients (Serves 16)
Graham Cracker Crust
- 6 whole graham crackers
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- 20 ounces (3 bricks) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk or cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
- 3 graham crackers, crumbled
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
Graham cracker crust
- Using a food processor, grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb.
- Melt the butter, and then mix it into the graham cracker crumbs.
- Press into the bottom of a 9″ x 9″ baking dish.
- Set aside.
Chocolate cheesecake filling
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
- Melt together the butter, chocolates, vanilla, and salt.
- Stir until smooth.
- Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the sugar, and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.
- Beat in the cocoa powder and milk.
- Slowly add the chocolate and butter mixture, beating until thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour this mixture on top of the graham crust. Bake until only the center 2″ is still jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
S’mores Marshmallow Topping
- When the cheesecake is cool enough to touch, carefully place the mini marshmallows on top.
- Sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers.
- Adjust the rack of the oven to the 2nd position, then turn the broiler to high.
- Carefully place the cheesecake in the oven, and watch it until the marshmallows are toasted to your liking.
- Allow to cool on the countertop for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate until serving.
I never said it was a healthy recipe. In fact, I could really only handle about 4 bites of it before it got to be too rich. The dark chocolate filling contrasted well with the sweetness of the marshmallows on top, and to be honest, I wish there had been a bit more marshmallow on my piece.
Don’t get me wrong, it was amazingly delicious, and I kind of couldn’t believe I’d made it without an official recipe, and even my sister happily ate a piece (and brought two home!)… and Eo kept a few pieces for herself… so the verdict is that it was really good!
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and sometimes indulgent 2012!