Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

 The most delicious cheesecake you’ll ever make

Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake

Normally, I’m not one prone to hyperbole. But saying this Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake is the best you’ll ever make is not an exaggeration. On many occasions, I’ve made this for guests or to bring to a dinner party and it has always been an immediate favorite.

I found this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine many years ago and a while back I looked it up to see if they had it online. Yes, they did. (Or did, it appears it’s no longer there as of this writing.) Is it the same? No, it wasn’t. As so often happens with recipes, they have a way of changing over time and this one is no different.

Now, you can look up Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake recipes and find plenty of them. However, I’m one for simplicity and not mixing up flavors to any large degree and too many of the recipes online add lots of crazy stuff. If a recipe is titled Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake I want it to taste like Bailey’s. No crazy crusts, toppings, or other ingredients will cut it for me. This recipe lets the cheesecake bask in Bailey’s Irish Cream bask glory.

The topping is a ganache, which is simply heavy cream and baker’s chocolate in an almost one to one ratio. The reason ganache works for the topping is Bailey’s Irish Cream has….yes, chocolate. Complimentary flavors work every time and neither the ganache or the Bailey’s overpower the other. C’est Magnifique!

The key to any cheesecake recipe is in the baking. One can’t let the cake over bake or the top will split as it cools. Admittedly, I have this happen on occasion when I think the cake is too jiggly and let it go another few minutes.

Jiggly? Yes. In the oven, the center of the cheesecake should be a bit jiggly when you give it a gentle shake. It may not look done, but it is. The residual heat in the pan will allow the cheesecake to bake properly. This recipe calls for 45 to 50 minutes in the oven. If I let it go to 45 in our oven the cheesecake will crack so I pull it at 40 or 42 minutes. Let it cool and then refrigerate for a bit.

To make the ganache, add room temperature cream and chocolate to a small pot and warm it slightly over medium-low heat. Remember chocolate melts at 86F so it won’t take long. You don’t want the ganache too warm, just spreadable.

Pour a good dollop of the ganache over the center of the cheesecake and spread it in a circular motion with the back of a large spoon working from the center to the edges. Let the ganache drip over the sides. You can serve after the ganache cools a bit, but I find cooling it overnight in the refrigerator works best.

Portioning the cheesecake should be done with a long slicing knife. Warm the blade well under hot running water and make a cut across the entire cheesecake in a downward motion the pulling the blade back through the cake, wipe the blade clean and re-warm it for the next cuts. If you don’t warm the blade the ganache will crack.

Chocolate Truffles?

Now, you will have ganache left over. Not a lot, but some. So take this opportunity to make chocolate truffles by adding more chocolate to the ganache. Add one ounce at a time, constantly scraping the sides of the pot with a silicon spatula until the ganache starts to get stiff. Keep the heat on but move the pot on and off the burner to control the temperature. For a bit more flavor add a few drops of orange oil. You can also add a bit of kosher salt to jack the chocolate taste up a tad. Crazy but true.

Once the chocolate has warmed slightly you’ll have what is starting to look like a very dense, dryish chocolate brownie in the pot. While stirring with a spatula the chocolate will not stick to the side of the pot. Done. Take a spoon and scoop about one tablespoon and roll it in the palm of your hands to a ball. (Yes, it will be messy so rubber gloves isn’t a bad idea.) Place the balls on a cold dinner plate and refrigerate until chilled through. When they are chilled, roll them in cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature for a terrific after dinner treat that is tasty yet not a belly bomb.

Now, go ahead and make the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake. You’ll love it!

Utensils used in this recipe are:

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Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • - -- Crust --
  • 1.5 sleeve whole graham cracker
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • -- Filling --
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, 3- 8 ounce packs
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour, all-purpose
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Baileys' Irish Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Baileys' Irish Cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • -- Ganache --
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. -- Crust --
  2. Heat oven to 350F. Finely grind graham crackers in food processor adding butter till combined. Press into bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
  3. -- Filling --
  4. With blender mix room temperature cream cheese and sugar till smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs one at a time beating until just combined. Mix in rest of ingredients.
  5. Pour into crust and bake 10 minutes at 350F then reduce temp to 250F. Bake until set, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Run sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen.
  6. -- Ganache --
  7. Simmer cream in heavy medium size sauce pan. Reduce heat to low and add chopped chocolate stirring till melted. Let cool to luke warm.
  8. Release pan from sides of cake, remove and place cake on wire rack. Place aluminum foil or wax paper under rack to catch drippings. Pour glaze over cheesecake allowing excess to run over sides. With the back of spoon swirl the chocolate from center outwards to coat entire cake. Let cheesecake cool completely, overnight is best then dust with confectioners sugar for effect.
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