March Mart Irish Cream Cheesecake

Plants were not the only hit of March Mart, but they were the main attraction!

At the March Mart VIP Preview Reception and Sale Event on Thursday night, guests noshed on a variety of tidbits, one of which we feature here. The dessert table featured a decadent delight we renamed “March Mart Irish Cream Cheesecake” in honor of the occasion. The recipe follows:

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (use whole cookies with filling)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

For the cheesecake filling:

3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

3 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup Irish Cream Liquour

 

For Chocolate Ganache:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

12 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped

Instructions:

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Mix together Oreo crumbs and melted butter, press the mixture into a 9″ springform pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, set aside to cool.

*Once the crust is cooled, wrap pan with two layers of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan, make sure it is tight and secure so no water gets in during the baking process!!

*With electric mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth.

*Add cornstarch and continue to mix until fully incorporated, decrease the speed to low and add eggs one at a time incorporating well, then add vanilla extract and the Irish Cream.

*Pour batter into prepared pan, place into a roasting pan, filling the roasting pan about a quarter of the way with hot water, bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, rotating once halfway through the set time. (basically until the cheesecake is set around the edges and slightly loose in the center).

*Remove springform pan from the water bath and set on a cooling rack to cool, once cooled, remove aluminum foil and refrigerate (at least 5 hours or preferably overnight). Once completely cooled, run a thin knife around the edge and remove the ring of the springform pan.

*Over a double boiler melt the chopped chocolate until completely smooth with no lumps, stir in heavy whipping cream (from the fridge). The mixture will be very thick and creamy so you can easily spread it on top of the cake and also on the sides without dripping.  Use just 2/3 of the ganache and set the cake in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden ganache layer. Remove the cake from the freezer and reheat the remaining ganache but this time it should be smooth (but not too thin) so you can pour it over the cake to make a smooth and shiny surface. Enjoy!

*To keep the shine of the ganache, allow it to cool at room temperature then store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Enjoy!

****To make these into mini cheesecakes you will need a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms. The recipe remains the same except: reduce baking time to 20 minutes, checking to make certain  the cheesecakes are set around the edges.  When adding the ganache to the surface, the first layer can be spread on the top but the remaining layer is best applied by dipping the mini cheesecake tops into the melted ganache (the ganache will drip down the sides but that is the desired appearance, then allow to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Continue to follow the recipe above. especially the enjoy part! (Makes approximately 36 mini cheesecakes).