Saturday, March 6th, was our 5th year wedding anniversary. Mr. H and I were high school sweethearts and we were together for 6 years prior to getting married. I patiently waited for that man and I' m glad I did because he's the love of my life. We get engaged on Father's Day in 2004 and I had just gotten off work wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants. It was about 100 degrees outside and he took me to a private place that overlooks the lake. Very romantic but you have to climb about 99 steps to get to the top! By the time we got there I was sweaty and cranky but it was all worth it in the end because this is also where we went on our first date.
We had planned to get married outside in a beautiful quaint little courtyard but the day of the wedding it was drizzly and cold so at the last minute we moved it indoors and got married by fireside with our friends and family sitting cozily around us. It was nothing like we had envisioned but perfect nonetheless. On Saturday I sat and looked over our leather bound digital album. Gorgeous and heavy. It made me so happy and brought back so many memories of that day.
One of my favorite pages in our album is this one below. I still have my flowers though they're dry and brittle and resemble nothing like the original bouquet. I held some of my favorite flowers on that day- red peonies, anemones, tulips, and roses all wrapped in pure white satin. I wore a strapless white satin beaded gown. It wad some detail on the front but the back was my favorite part. Mr. H looked so handsome in his tux. Swoon. I love weddings, if I could get married every year in different spots, I would. To the same man of course! but I would get married in different places. I'd have a beach wedding in the Summer and a wintertime wedding in the snow in the mountains. ah!
This year for our anniversary I decided to make something with chocolate. If you know Mr. H at all then you know he loves it and it's my duty as his wife to make him happy...at least once a year anyway :-) On our wedding day we had two cakes (click to see). I had a carrot cake covered in the silkiest buttercream and he had a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and strawberries. It was then decorated with dark and white chocolate tiles. Not only was it stunning but it was delicious. Last year I attempted to make a similar chocolate cake and while it was pretty it wasn't nearly as good. So this year I made the love of my life a triple chocolate cheesecake.
In this cheesecake are some of my favorite flavors- cream cheese, chocolate, cinnamon and espresso. The only thing missing was strawberries so I added those on the side. Like most cheesecakes, this was rich and decadent but it was oh so creamy and tall. So tall that I didn't think it would fit in the pan and creamy from the addition of sour cream. One slice was all we needed so I plated it up on our wedding china and grabbed two forks.
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake from Fine Cooking
For the crust:
- 1-1/2 cups very finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (about 30 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
- 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon (I increased this to 1/2 tsp.)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. instant coffee granules or espresso powder
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
- 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 Tbs. natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
Make the crust: Heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon until blended. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix until well blended and the crumbs are evenly moist. Dump the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Make the filling and bake: Mix the sour cream, vanilla, and coffee granules in a small bowl. Set aside and stir occasionally until the coffee dissolves.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat (or in a microwave). Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, cocoa powder, and salt until very smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl and paddle frequently (and with each subsequent addition).
Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth. Scrape the cooled chocolate into the bowl; beat until blended. Beat in the sour cream mixture until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just blended. (Don’t overbeat the filling once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much.) Pour the filling over the cooled crust, spread evenly, and smooth the top.
Bake at 300°F until the center barely jiggles when nudged, 50 to 60 minutes.* (see note) The cake will be slightly puffed, with a few little cracks around the edge. Let cool to room temperature on a rack and then refrigerate until well chilled, at least a few hours, or overnight for the best texture and flavor.
To serve: Unclasp the pan’s ring, remove it, and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife as needed.
NOTE: Next time I would increase the crust recipe by 1.5 times so there was more crust to go up the sides.
Also I baked this in a waterbath at 300 degrees for 70 minutes so it cooked evenly, stayed creamy and there were no cracks. Click HERE to read more tips on baking cheesecakes in a waterbath.
Five years ago, hand in hand, "smoking" cigars. hee hee!
And this weekend enjoying a romantic dinner.
In case you're wondering, the traditional wedding gift for the 5th anniversary is...WOOD. ha ha!