Spider Web Cheesecake For Halloween!

Spider Web Cheesecake For Halloween!
Yield: 12 slices


1.5 cups (175 g) graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp (30 g) brown sugar
1/8 tsp (about 2 big pinches or 0.2 g) salt
5 tbsp (106 g) melted, cooled, unsalted butter

4 x 8 oz (4 x 250 g) blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups (400 g) packed brown sugar
3 tbsp (20 g) all purpose flour
4 tsp (20 g) vanilla extract
1 tsp (3 g) zest from one lemon
2 tsp (19 ml) juice from one lemon
1/4 tsp (2 g) salt
6 large eggs
1/2 cup (125 g) sour cream

3/4 cup (117 g) your favourite milk/dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
1/2 cup (106 ml) heavy cream
1/4 + 1/8 cup (58 g) white chocolate, chopped into small bits
1/4 cup (53 ml) heavy cream

Directions Day 1

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C or gas mark 5).  Place oven rack into the lower middle position. Wrap a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan with foil - making sure to cover the bottom and extend the foil above the rim of the pan. Double the foil. Grease the springform pan well with butter.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Stir until well combined then pour into pan. Press down well to layer the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside to cool.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F (165 C or gas mark 3). Put a pot of boiling water on the stove.

4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of bowl to make sure all is combined. Add the vanilla, zest, lemon juice and salt. Beat until combined.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add the sour cream and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

6. Set the cheesecake in a roasting pan that is tall enough to hold 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water. Place the springform pan into the roasting pan. Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth out with a spatula. 

7. Create your bain marie or water bath: pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach 1" above the bottom of the roasting pan. Carefully transfer into the oven and bake 90 minutes to 105 minutes. (The cheesecake SHOULD wobble a little after cooking but not be liquidy; remember it continues to cook during cooling).

8. Allow the cheesecake to cool for 45 minutes in the Bain Marie that is placed on a wire rack. Discard the foil, run a butter knife around the cheesecake; cover with cling film and let cool in the fridge overnight.

Directions Day 2

1. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Run a long knife under the base of the cake and carefully transfer to a serving platter.

2. To make the chocolate ganache, place your chopped up milk/dark chocolate into a bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer then immediately pour over the chocolate. Give the bowl a little swirl then quickly cover tightly with foil. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

3. Remove foil and whisk until smooth. Let ganache sit for 15 minutes to thicken.

4. Repeat with to make the white chocolate ganache. 

5. Pour the milk/dark chocolate ganache over the cheesecake. Spread with a spatula. Let sit for about 10 minutes before applying the white ganache. Using a piping/pastry bag, create a spiral of white chocolate ganache all around the top of the cheesecake. (See my video for visual instructions)

6. Place a toothpick or skewer on top of the cake at the middle of the spiral. Pull to the edge of the cake. Repeat to make your spider web. (See my video for visual instructions)

Ganache tips:

- If your ganache is too thin, add one spoonful of confectioners sugar at a time and whisk until smooth. Add as much as you need to thicken the ganache to your liking.

- Make sure your chocolate is cut in small pieces, otherwise it will not melt well and you will have a clumpy ganache.

- Do not let the cream boil, this could burn the chocolate, causing separation and a grainy texture rather than a smooth ganache.

- Chilling the ganache longer can help it to thicken more.

For Video Instructions, please check out my video Halloween Spider Web Cheesecake!  

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