Monday, May 30, 2011

cheesecake bars with chocolate ganache

Confession: I don't own a springform pan.

I know, I know.

Confession: I don't like cheesecake.

Yeah, I know. No, really, I know. I am like the only one. Ever. And while we're at it and you are all up in arms about my dislike for a universally loved dessert, I might as well tell you that I don't like Italian food. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know.

This weekend, I took a road trip with a few of my friends to go see our mutual friend (and classmate) get married. The wedding was wonderful, the bride was beyond beautiful, and there were about 5 different types of dessert. All in all, my definition of perfection.

This road trip was of the 7-hour-round-trip variety. You know, one of those. Where it is long, but not too long. Where you can still talk the entire way and not necessarily run out of things to say. Right? People talk for 7 hours straight? Other than middle school girls on the phone with their long-distance boyfriends?

Yeah, so as you might have guessed, I basically talked the whole way there. And back. What can I say? I have the gift of gab.(Though my use of the word "gift" is debatable. But remember, I will out-gab you in said debate. So it's probably better that you don't even start. Thanks.)

Like I said, I don't like cheesecake and I don't even own a springform pan. So why make my first baking post on cheesecake bars?

Well, these cheesecake bars were originally intended as a gratuitous baking adventure, requested by the lovely driver of our wedding excursion. And then I realized that I talked for 7 hours straight; so now these cheesecake bars are more like "thanks for being my friend" cheesecake bars, combined with a little "you're hella awesome for not kicking my overly-conversational bum out of the car"  chocolate ganache.

Despite not being fond of cheesecake, these bars are actually delicious. And I don't know of anything that isn't improved by chocolate ganache.

Additional bonuses: No water bath required, and any infamous cheesecake cracks are covered up by ganache. Win. 

Recipe [very slightly adapted] from Bakerella's Chocolate Biscoff Cheesecake Bars:

Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Ganache

1 1/2 cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Mix cookies and sugar together.
  • Add butter and stir until combined.
  • Press mixture into a 13 X 9 pan.
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
  • On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  • Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 40 minutes.
  • Remove and cool completely.  
  • Prepare ganache.
Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
  • Heat cream and butter on stove until just before boiling.
  • Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely combined.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.
  • Pour over cooled cheesecake.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cut into bars and serve.

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