The other dish I made tonight was dessert. There is another group I have started posting with , Have the Cake. I was invited to join last month after Chaya of Sweet and Savory saw my Red Velvet cake and said that was the February challenge for the group. I decided to join and this month's challenge is Tiramisu. I have never made Tiramisu before and decided it was time to change that! My Mom had given me a recipe for a Tiramisu Cheesecake a couple of years ago, and I never got around to making it. In fact, I lost the recipe and totally forgot about it. Until I saw March's Have the Cake challenge. I emailed Mom and she still had the recipe and sent it to me. I am not sure where she got it from. She said a lady from church gave her the recipe. So, I can't give credit to whoever may have created it.
I thought this was delicious! You could detect the coffee flavor, but not the Kahlua. I think next time I might bump that up a bit. The cheesecake itself was smooth and creamy and the 2 tbls. coffee added didn't impact the flavor at all. It was strange not to have a "hard" crust on the bottom of the cheesecake. I usually use graham cracker or some kind of cookie crust. This crust, made from the coffee soaked ladyfingers was soft and just melted in my mouth. The shavings of chocolate were a nice touch, adding a hint of crunch, for just an instant, before melting into the creamy cheesecake itself. The hubby? "You've made better" was what he said. But, in all fairness, he's not a big coffee person so that may have influenced his review. :)
It was pretty easy to put together. I used store bought Ladyfingers and store bought Mascarpone cheese. I know you can make your own of both, and while I may do that in the future, today I just didn't have that kind of time. So, store bought it was. The first Ladyfingers I dipped in my coffee/Kahlua/sugar mixture I let get totally submerged and they dissolved! I scooped them out and hung on to the rest of them letting them only get soaked on one side! I won't go into all my step by step moves, rather I will just post the recipe and you can imagine me doing those things as I worked around in my kitchen. :)
1 1/4 cup triple strength coffee (reserve 2 Tbls.)
2 Tbls. plus 1 1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbls. Kuhlua
1 1/2 package (7 oz. each) imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers
3 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 Tbls. corn starch
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tub (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated
1. Remove bottom of a 9x3 inch springform pan and wrap the bottom with plastic wrap.
2. Stir coffee, 2 Tbls. sugar and the Kahlua in a shallow bowl until sugar dissolves. Set 1/2 of the ladyfingers aside. For each of the remaining ladyfingers, quickly dip one side into coffee mixture and place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers as needed to fit. Freeze about 15 minutes until firm. Lift plastic wrap, with ladyfingers, off pan bottom and place on a flat plate in freezer.
3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Reassemble the springform pan and coat with non-stick spray.
4. Quickly dip one side of reserved ladyfingers into coffee mixture. Place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers to fit and pressing to fill spaces. Freeze until ready to assemble.
5. Beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time until just blended. Beat in mascarpone and reserved 2 Tbls. of coffee. Pour half the batter into pan; spread evenly. Top with ladyfinger layer from freezer; sprinkle with grated chocolate. Spoon remaining batter over chocolate. Spread evenly.
6. Bake 45 minutes, or until cake still jiggles slightly when shaken. Some bubbles may form on surface (will sink as cake cools). Turn off oven and leaving door closed, leave cake in oven for another 45 minutes.
7. Remove cake from oven. Carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake (leave the pan sides on). Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably 1 day for best flavor.
8. To serve remove pan and place cake on a serving plate. Dust with cocoa; top with chocolate curls. Enjoy!