Double-Chocolate Italian Cheesecake

Member Yosmar Martinez took first place in the Club's chocolate dessert contest with her two-toned cheesecake. She uses a combination of mascarpone cheese and cream cheese to give it body and richness. The chocolate and vanilla layers are wonderful complements. The whole dessert is pulled together with a bittersweet chocolate glaze that covers the entire cheesecake.

CRUST

1/2 cup slivered almonds
15 vanilla wafer cookies
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 (8-oz.) pkg. mascarpone cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted, cooled
6 oz. white chocolate, melted, cooled

GLAZE

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place almonds in food processor; pulse until chopped. Add wafers and melted butter; process until finely crumbled. Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with foil. (Almonds and wafer cookies can be chopped by hand and crust mixed in a bowl.)

2. Place cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. At low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, until well-blended.

3. Divide cheese mixture evenly between 2 medium bowls. Add melted bittersweet chocolate to one; stir to combine. Add white chocolate to second bowl; stir to combine.

4. Pour white chocolate mixture into pan. Gently spoon and spread bittersweet chocolate mixture over white chocolate mixture. Place pan in large shallow roasting pan or broiler pan; fill roasting pan with 1 inch hot water.

5. Bake 1 hour or until edges are puffed and top looks dull and is dry to the touch. Center should move slightly when side of pan is tapped. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate overnight.

6. To make glaze, place 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate and 3/4 cup butter in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; gently stir in corn syrup until mixture is smooth and slightly warm to the touch (about 80°F.).

7. Remove sides from springform pan; place cheesecake on wire rack placed over baking sheet. Pour glaze over cheesecake, spreading with spatula. Refrigerate until set. Store in refrigerator.

16 servings

PER SERVING: 590 calories, 46.5 g total fat (27 g saturated fat), 8.5 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 145 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 3 g fiber


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