Monday, June 18, 2012

Marbled Cheesecake Bars

Sunday was Father's day.
And I made my dad one of his favorite desserts...cheesecake!
  I only bake a cheesecake a few times a year even though it is a family favorite, but since my dad has been hinting that he wanted a cheesecake for a while I decided to make one. I got this recipe from the inside of a Ghirardelli chocolate bar wrapper and I made a few slight changes. This cheesecake recipe is actually easier than my go-to cheesecake recipe.

 I think next time I make a cheesecake I will try to make a Japanese cheesecake which is lighter than regular cheesecake due to using whipped egg whites and cornstarch. 

 Cheesecake is one of those dishes (like lasagna) that are even better the day after being made. I love the crust which has a great nutty flavor and smells delicious while baking, but you could easily use a graham cracker crust or even a chocolate crust if you wanted more chocolate. If you wanted to have more plain cheesecake than chocolate, you could add the chocolate into the 1 cup of reserved cheesecake and pour that onto the plain layer (opposite of #4-5)
If you want a softer texture, which is what my dad prefers, let the whole cheesecake or just your slice sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating which will soften it up a bit so it's not overly rich and hard due to it being chilled.

Ghirardelli Marbled Cheesecake Bars

1 cup flour
1 cup nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

3 bars (24 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted*

1. Heat oven to 325F.
2. Combine the flour, nuts, and sugar. Add in the butter and mix well.
3. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased  8" or 9" square pan.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.
5. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.

The oven temp is still 325F
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the vanilla.
3. Set 1 cup of batter aside.
4. Add the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl. Pour the chocolate batter over the crust.
5. Pour the plain over the chocolate batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the batter to create a marbled effect.
6. Bake  30-35 minutes or until the center is set. Cool on rack until room temperature.
7. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

-For the crust I used 1/2 walnuts and 1/2 pecans. You could try using a nut flour/meal instead. You could maybe even try using a gluten free a.p. flour or coconut flour to make it gluten free, but I haven't tried it so I'm not for sure of the results.
*the original recipe used bittersweet chocolate, but my dad prefers milk chocolate so I used semi-sweet to make everyone happy. You can use what type of chocolate you prefer.
- If you want to make extra care as to not have cracks in your cheesecake, you can fill a pan about 1" full of hot water and sit it on a rack under the cheesecake.

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