This is probably one of the best things to ever come out of my oven. The combination of chocolate and a lightly-roasted marshmallow topping make this twist on the tried-and-true cheesecake a perfect finale to any outdoor BBQ.
The recipe below comes from Bon Appetit/ Epicurious.com, and is ranked one of their best. I highly recommend that you visit the original site and read through the comments for plenty of helpful suggestions. I personally substituted kind of fancy dark chocolate for the milk chocolate the original recipe suggests, and it came out melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs–about the equivalent of one packet, or 9 graham crackers, will do the trick. FYI, a food processor makes this much easier.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 9 ounces chocolate, chopped
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 12 large marshmallows, cut into quarters
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bunches of sweet summer berries to serve alongside your cheesecake.
What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the crust by mixing crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl, then add melted butter and stir until mixture is evenly coated. Press onto bottom of a 9-inch-springform pan with your fingertips.Bake on the center rack until set, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, and reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Now, the filling. Stir the chocolate of your choice in top of double boiler set over just simmering water until smooth. (Or, if you’re like me and don’t have a double boiler, you can use a carefully positioned bowl over boiling water–just don’t let the bottom touch!) Remove from over water, and set aside to cool. According to the original recipe, you should combine the cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth, and then, with the motor still running, add the whipping cream, melted chocolate, and then the eggs 1 at a time. Because I also don’t have a food processor, I combined these ingredients in a large bowl and used a hand-mixer and lots of elbow grease. The cake came out perfect, but, again, the food processor will make it so much easier.
Transfer the mixture to your springform pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Your cake should have that just-baked cheesecake look, with raised, slightly puffy outer edges and a smooth,shiny center that jiggles a bit when you move it. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, and chill for at least 8 hours.
The Next Day…
To make the marshmallow topping, whisk sugar, egg whites, 3 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large metal bowl. Here’s where it gets tricky: place the bowl over simmering water, and whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. The mixture should be hot enough to melt the marshmallows. Remove bowl from over water, and, while it continues to simmer, stir in marshmallows–it may take 3-4 minutes for them to soften and melt completely. Set the topping over simmering water again, and using an electric mixer (woo! I have one of those!), beat into stiff shiny peaks, about 4 minutes, then mix in the vanilla extract.
Spoon topping onto cheesecake, making a swirl pattern, then let the cake set for about 15 minutes. The original recommends using a kitchen torch to lightly brown the topping. This is probably the best way, but I used my broiler instead–place the cake about 4 inches away from the heat source and whatever you do, keep an eye on it, as it can burn very easily.
Then, you’re done! For best results, serve outdoors with seasonal berries. You can also keep the topped cake overnight and serve the following day.
Enjoy! I hope this recipe works out as well for you as it did for me.