Welcome to the Saint Patrick's Day series, or as I like to call it, the most wonderful time of the year! I've been baking away, testing recipes and making shamrock cookies like it's my job ;) And now it's time to get the party started with a cheesecake that I think might be my best cheesecake to date!
I know, I know, that's an incredibly bold statement, but this Irish Coffee Cheesecake has got it all. It's elegant, refined and full of personality. With a chocolate cookie crust, creamy cheesecake batter filled with Baileys and an Irish whiskey ganache that just melts into each bite, this is your must make Saint Patrick's Day dessert!
Now it's no secret I love the Baileys, but this, this is just beyond. We start out with a chocolate graham crust that anchors the cheesecake perfectly. The cheesecake batter is what I refer to as dangerous territory. I added espresso powder that lends this wonderful depth of rich, coffee flavor and goes so lovely with the Irish cream. And the Baileys, well let's just say I don't hold back! Once you add that in, it'll take everything in your power to put the spoon down.
Seriously, I can't even. Then you're going to whip together a little Irish whiskey ganache. And if you're sort of on the fence about whether you really need to make the ganache, you do. As you whisk together the cream, a pat of butter and the chocolate, the ganache begins to glisten - literally.
A zip of Irish whiskey brightens it and adds a lovely layer of flavor. It's not too strong, it just caps off the cheesecake as it would the drink, tying everything together. And smooth doesn't even begin to describe the taste. When you take a bite, that whiskey ganache melts like butter.
Aside form the incredible flavor it adds to the cheesecake, the ganache instantly dresses up the dessert. Once the ganache set up, I finished it off with some whipped cream. You can't have an Irish coffee without a nice spoon of that, right?! And last, some chocolate covered espresso beans. They're like that last accessory that tie the whole thing together and they also add a little crunch that I love.
As you can probably tell, I'm a little smitten with this cheesecake, but how you really know is when you share it with others. The last time I made this was for my family and there was actually silence at the table. When all the chatter stops and the only thing you hear are murmurs of a second slice, you know it's good! I hope you all enjoy this one!
Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 & 1/3 cups sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup Baileys Irish cream
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tsp. Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, espresso powder and melted butter.
- Press into 9” springform pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once crust has cooled, wrap pan in aluminum foil and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth.
- Add cornstarch and espresso powder and continue to mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Drop the speed down to low and add eggs one at a time followed by vanilla extract and Baileys.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and place in a roasting pan.
- Fill roasting pan about a quarter of the way with hot water and
- bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, rotating once halfway through, until the cheesecake is set around the edges and slightly loose in the center.
- When the cheesecake is done, remove from the water bath and
- set on a cooling rack.
- Once cheesecake has cooled, remove aluminum foil and refrigerate.
- Bring heavy cream and butter up to a scant boil.
- Pour over chopped chocolate and stir to combine.
- Stir in Jameson Irish whiskey.
- Set aside for about 5-10 minutes just so ganache is not piping hot when you pour it on the cheesecake.
- Pour ganache on cheesecake and refrigerate until it sets.
- Decorate cheesecake with homemade whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.