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Chef David Bondarchuck’s Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
What you need for the crust
12 graham crackers (approximately 2 cups of pulsed crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter, melted; 2 Tablespoons to grease the pan (1-stick of butter (1/4 pound) in total)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
What you need for the cake
Seven 8-ounce packages of Wisconsin Cheese, cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup Original Bailey’s Irish Cream
5 large eggs, room temperature
What you need for the “Original Bailey’s Irish Cream” Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces of semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup Original Bailey’s Irish Cream
What to Do
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan with 2 Tablespoons of butter. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of heavy-duty foil.
To make the crust, process graham crackers in food processor until fine. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer crumb mixture to the spring form pan and pat into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup or cup base. Bake until the crust is set and deeply golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Start a full kettle of water boiling…
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
Add in the sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and bailey’s Irish Cream; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not over mix.
Pour cream cheese filling atop the graham cracker crust into the completely cooled pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. (I use my turkey roaster from thanksgiving.) Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of the outside of the springform pan. Baking Tip: The double layer of heavy-duty foil helps to keep the water from leaking through to the crust and cake during the baking process.
Bake for 45 minutes; then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 40 minutes more. (Total bake time 1 hour 25 minutes) Turn off oven; leave cake in oven with the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon, about 1 hour. (Total in-oven time 2 hours 25 minutes)
Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen any sticking points.
For the Ganache: After cake is fully chilled and unmolded…
In a glass bowl melt together the Chocolate Chips with heavy cream and Bailey’s Irish Cream in the microwave. Stopping to stir the mixture every 30 seconds until full mixture is smooth and well combined. Pour the Bailey’s Irish Cream ganache over the unmolded cheesecake and return the cheesecake to the fridge for 30 minutes more or until it is time to serve. Enjoy!