You can’t beat cheesecake. It’s so rich and creamy and delicious. Some people think it’s tricky to make, but it’s not. It’s basically cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. Nothing complicated about that. I’ve made Irish creme cheesecake over the years, sometimes with a chocolate swirl, and it’s always a big hit. I also love a little Irish creme in my coffee on occasion, so in honor or St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to add a layer of coffee flavor to the cheesecake I made for my Irish sweetie. It was the perfect ending to our dinner of reubens and oven fries, and it was even better straight out of the fridge the next morning for breakfast, along with a big cup of coffee. Slainte!
15 graham crackers
4 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
4 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened (I used the 1/3 less fat variety and you can’t tell the difference)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. strong coffee or espresso
1/3 cup Irish creme liqueur
Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. You can use a food processor to do this quickly and easily, but I find putting the crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and beating them into crumbs with a rolling pin is a good way to release stress. It’s also a good job for the kids. Add the melted butter and combine well, then press onto the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan.
In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time.
Transfer half of the mixture into a separate bowl. Into one half of the mixture, add the coffee and cocoa and stir well to combine. Add the Irish creme liqueur into the other half and stir well.
Pour half of one of the mixtures into the crust, then half of the other, and repeat, making layers in the pan. Run a knife through the batter in a tic-tac-toe pattern to create swirls.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes, until the center is set. Let cool completely before removing the sides of the springform pan.
Here’s a little hint for making cheesecake: Sometimes you’ll get cracks in the top once the cake cools. It doesn’t affect the flavor at all. The best way to remedy this is to make a chocolate ganache and pour all over the top, or if you’ve made a plain cheesecake, open a can of cherry pie filling and pour it over the cheesecake. Nobody will know the difference!