Our last cheesecake. Normally I enjoy making Rose's cheesecakes. They take a while, but nothing is hard, and I know the result will be fantastic. But this time nothing seemed to go quite right. I think my brain was still a little addled from being on Dublin time, or I wasn't in the right mood for baking, or something. I did pour the boiling water into the cocoa correctly--the first step to making the chocolate genoise that serves as the base and sides of the cheesecake. Although I had no trouble with the cocoa, I was a little put out that I had to bake a cake before I could make the cheesecake. I eyed the box of chocolate wafers, left over from the bourbon balls, and thought, "This would be so much easier...." But I persevered.
Beating the eggs for the genoise. This is when they're just getting started; they're much lighter and fluffier after being in the stand mixer for five minutes.
Adding the cocoa mixture to the genoise batter.
Aargh. The genoise was completely uneven when it came out of the oven with one side thin and flat and the other side three times as high and much fluffier. Fortunately, at that point I had to go to the opera (Romeo and Juliette by Gounod), so I just covered the cake with another half-sheet pan and went off to watch the star-crossed lovers.
By the next morning, the cake seemed to have evened itself out. To my surprise, I didn't have any trouble cutting the shapes out or fitting them in the pan. Still, I think a chocolate crumb crust would have worked just fine.
Next problem. Melting the white chocolate. I had half good stuff that melted like a dream and half stupid little chocolate chips that wouldn't melt. Fake chocolate. I remember it gave me problems the last time I used it, when I swore I'd never use it again. Sadly, I forgot that vow before it was too late. (This time I threw the rest of them away. I just hope I remember never to buy them again).
So instead of being smooth and stirrable like the dark chocolate, the white chocolate never did melt properly. When I got it close to smooth, it just re-hardened. At this point, there was no way I was going to start over.
2 pounds of cream cheese at room temperature. I beat that for five minutes too, but, like the white chocolate, it never turned smooth and lump-free.
Three layers of cheese mixture: white chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate. The last layer came right up to the top of the cake sides.
I used a whisk to marble the cheesecake, but it looked odd, so I drew a sharp knife through it a couple of times. I'm not sure I got to the bottom layer, so I guess it won't be marbled all the way through.
3 hours later.... If I was going to get this posted on Monday, I couldn't let the cheesecake sit in the refrigerator overnight. After 3 hours, it was still not cold, about room temperature, I'd say. The good news is that none of the difficulties I foresaw actually happened. The cheesecake had no lumps or crunchy bits in it; it was completely smooth and silky. And I LOVED the genoise enclosure!
I was right that the marbling effect didn't show through the whole cheesecake. Cutting into it turned it into more of a layered cheesecake than a marbled one, but it didn't really matter. I'm so happy that the last cheesecake turned out to be another winner in the pantheon of RLB cheesecakes!