Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Black and White Cheesecake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake
For Mother's Day weekend, I made this black and white cheesecake for my family (and shared with a few neighbors, as well).  With dark chocolate cake on the bottom, topped with creamy, no-bake vanilla bean cheesecake, this cake combines the best flavors and textures of cake and cheesecake into a luscious dessert that's both impressive looking, and simple to create.

Instead of a graham cracker crust, the base of the cheesecake is my favorite recipe for chocolate cake, from my Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake.  This is similar to the Brownie Bottom Cheesecake I posted a few years ago, but since this is a cake that is best served chilled, and fudge brownies get so firm when refrigerated, I thought that a soft chocolate cake would be a much better option this time around.  Half of the chocolate cake recipe makes a nice, thick cake layer baked in an 8-inch springform pan, and after cooling the cake, I soaked it with a few tablespoons of coffee liqueur, which ensures that the unfrosted cake stays moist and delicious for days afterwards.

For the top layer, I whipped up cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar, into a smooth and creamy cheesecake that's thickened with gelatin.  A cocoa powder stencil on top is a pretty finish.




Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Black and White Cheesecake, No-bake Cheesecake, High Altitude Baking, Chocolate and Vanilla Cake





Black and White Cheesecake
printable


Chocolate Cake.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • scant 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua or coffee liqueur (for a non-alcoholic version, substitute strong coffee instead)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  You'll need an 8-inch spring-form pan (with removable bottom), with 3 inch high sides.  Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper, and lightly spray the paper with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Separately, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, vanilla and espresso powder.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cake on the center rack for about 35-38 minutes, until the center springs back when lightly touched and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, or with moist crumbs clinging to it.  Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, run a sharp knife around the edges, loosen the sides of the pan, and remove the sides, but keep the cake sitting on the base of the pan.  Use a knife to level the top of the cake, just slicing off a very thin layer to expose the cake, then attach the sides of the pan to the base again, so that the cake is once again inside the pan.  Brush the cake with the Kahlua, then set aside while you make the cheesecake.


Cheesecake.
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder
With an electric mixer (stand mixer preferred, or handheld is fine), beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until thick and smooth.

Meanwhile, measure 1/4 cup of the cream into a microwave-safe dish, and stir in the gelatin.  Let stand for several minutes, then microwave on high for about 45-60 seconds to dissolve the gelatin.  Stir well to combine.

Add the remaining 3/4 cup cream to the cream cheese mixture, and beat for several minutes until thick, scraping the bowl down several times.  Beat in the hot cream/gelatin mixture, beating until smooth.

Immediately spread the cheesecake filling over the chocolate cake, spreading it out to the edges of the pan and smoothing out the top.

Refrigerate (uncovered) for about 4-6 hours, or overnight, until the cheesecake is set.

Before serving, use a sharp knife and gently run it around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake, then carefully remove the sides of the pan.  You can set the cake, still on the base, on a cake pedestal, but use a non-slip pad underneath the base so it doesn't slip off your cake pedestal.  Or you can carefully slide a large cake lifter between the base of the pan and the parchment paper to remove the cake from the base, and set it on your cake pedestal.  If you like, garnish the top of the cheesecake with a cocoa powder stencil.

The cake should be served chilled, and leftovers stored in a cake carrier, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen
Yields 10-12 servings

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