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Cheesecake plus toffee plus chocolate plus espresso equals heaven on your fork!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare for a hot water bath (to reduce chances of the cheesecake cracking) by setting a large tea kettle of water on to boil. Then wrap the entire exterior of a 9″ springform pan with a double layer of heavy duty foil. Have a large, shallow roasting pan available, too.
For the crust:
In a medium bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, cocoa, espresso powder, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan, with a gently firm touch. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
When you pull it out of the oven, reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
For the cream cheese filling:
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, taking care to not let it scorch. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring before heating for additional 30 second increments. Set melted chocolate aside to cool while mixing the rest of the cream cheese filling.
Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Then with the mixer on low speed, add sugar in a slow, steady stream. Add the sour cream, cornstarch, salt and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until just combined, taking care to not overmix.
Remove 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture and stir it into the melted and cooled small bowl of chocolate. Then add the toffee bits into the remaining larger portion of the cream cheese mixture, folding to incorporate evenly. Pour the toffee cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust.
Spoon the small bowl of chocolate cream cheese mixture into a pasty bag fitted with a medium plain round tip. Press the tip just barely into the top of the toffee cream cheese mixture and squeeze a polka dot of chocolate. Repeat until the chocolate mixture is used up.
Set the foil wrapped springform pan inside the large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water from the tea kettle into the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of the springform pan.
Very carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Bake until cheesecake is mostly set in the center, about 70 minutes. Then turn the oven off, open the oven door just a crack (I stick a big wooden spoon in the door to hold it open) and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Transfer uncovered cheesecake to the refrigerator to chill for 6 hours or overnight before serving. Before unmolding the cake from the springform pan, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake.
It works best to pop the cheesecake into the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. Then dip your knife blade into a tall glass of very hot water before cutting each slice. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of additional toffee bits, if desired.
Source: Inspired by a great piece of cheesecake called “Chips & Chunks” that I shared with my husband at Cafe Latté in St. Paul, MN. I incorporated the chocolate polka dots after running across an irresistibly cute cheesecake at The Baker’s Daughter.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!