August is a birthday month for 3 out of 5 Hawthornes,
Rosie and Middle Hawthorne being the odd men out.
And all Hawthornes get to choose their own cake.
This year, The-Hawthorne-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
requested a cheesecake with a mocha icing.
Consider it done.
Birthday Hawthorne and Mr. Hawthorne
both said this was the "best cheesecake" they've ever had.
And I've made a lot of cheesecakes over the years.
2 cups ground graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Combine all ingredients until evenly moistened.
Pour crumbs into a buttered 9-inch springform pan.
Press evenly into the base and up the sides.
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup crème fraîche*
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
zest of one lemon
2 tsp vanilla
Beat cream cheese on low speed until smooth and free of lumps.
Add eggs, one at a time,
beating after each addition, until well-combined.
Gradually beat in sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Pour batter into crust-lined pan.
Place springform pan on large piece of foil
and fold up sides around it.
Place in a large roasting pan
and pour water halfway up sides of springform pan.
Bake at 325° approximately 50-55 minutes.
Cheesecake should jiggle slightly when removed from oven.
It will firm up after chilling.
Let cool in pan, then refrigerate, for at least 6 hours.
Remove from pan.
* About that crème fraîche: Crème fraîche is sour cream on steroids. I was planning on using sour cream in the cheesecake, but the night before making it I checked the fridge for sour cream. Nada. So I made crème fraîche to substitute. And I think the crème fraîche is what took this cheesecake over the top.
1 cup heavy cream
2 TB sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 ounces smooth dark 72% cacoa
1 TB water
2 tsp ground coffee
1 TB honey
Combine chocolate, water, coffee, and honey.
Nuke until chocolate is melted.
Stir to combine.
Beat cream until soft peaks form.
Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.
Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream.
Spoon into pastry bag with decorative tip
and pipe icing over top of cheesecake.
Or just spread it.
It's all good.
Here's the cheesecake after cooling.
I trimmed some of the crust to even it off
and sprinkled it on top of the cake.
Mixing the icing.
Gently fold chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.
Pipe icing on top.
I went for a beach motif - drip sandcastle icing.
Amazingly creamy cheesecake.