Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Irish Coffee Cheesecake

Servings: 10-12
It’s a cheesecake with "blarney".

A thick and creamy cheesecake on a very tasty crust. The Caramel Glaze and the Chocolate Syrup are delicious drizzled over the slices of cheesecake and the cocoa powder for dusting makes an attractive presentation, but these garnishes are optional. The cheesecake is simply wonderful on it's own, but DO serve it with whipped cream.

If you like a chocolate flavored crust, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the crust ingredients.

For the Crust:
1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz/226g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
Large pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake:
1 1/2 lb. (three 8 oz. packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 lb. sour cream
1/3 cup Irish Whiskey or Bailey's Irish Cream
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder

For the Caramel Glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. Irish Whiskey or Bailey's Irish Cream, (optional)
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Garnish: (optional)
Cocoa powder for dusting
Whipped Cream
Ready made store-bought chocolate syrup

For the Crust:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the butter, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, rice flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Roll out the dough into a 9-inch round. Pat the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat an oven to 300°F (150 degrees C)

Bake the crust for 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

To Make the Cheesecake:
Have a pot of hot water ready. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream, the espresso powder, the Irish whiskey (or Bailey's Irish Cream, if using), and mix until smooth.

Spread the batter evenly over the crust. Place the springform pan in a large roasting or baking pan, then place on the oven rack. Carefully fill the roasting pan halfway with hot water. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. To test for doneness, gently shake the pan; the cheesecake should be set from the center to the edges but not dry.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until chilled throughout, about 1 hour.

To Make the Caramel Glaze: (optional)
In a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth, add the Irish whiskey (or Bailey's Irish Cream, if using). Let cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and transfer to a large serving plate. Cut with a hot, dry knife. Drizzle slices with the caramel glaze and chocolate syrup (Caramel Glaze and Chocolate Syrup are optional) and dust slices with cocoa powder (optional also). Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

If you like a chocolate flavored crust, add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the crust ingredients.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Date: February 20, 2003-Revised 2-21-06