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CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Note that Finnish eggs are among the safest in the world to be eaten uncooked. To find out why, read here.

bottom crust:

175 g dark, rich cocoa cookies with chocolate or vanilla creme filling *)
50 g butter
filling:
200 g cream cheese
125 ml sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
200 ml cream
170 g sweet, dark chocolate
4 sheets of gelatine
slivered, toasted almonds for garnish
white, dark and milk chocolate curls for garnish

Melt the butter. Finely crush the cookies and mix with the melted butter. Cut a disk of parchment paper and place on the bottom of a springform cake pan (Ø 22 - 24 cm). Pour the cookie mixture into the pan and lightly press it onto the bottom of pan. Set aside.

Whisk the cream cheese, add half of the sugar (about 60 ml), vanilla sugar and egg yolks and beat until smooth. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a double boiler.

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and dissolve the sheets in couple of tablespoons of hot water, but do not boil the mixture, or it will become stringy.

Whip the cream. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually add rest of the sugar. Pour the gelatine liquid in the cheese mixture, beating vigorously. Add the melted chocolate, whipped cream and finally gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Immediately pour the mixture into the cake pan, cover tightly with a plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight to set.

Carefully remove the cake from the pan and transfer on a serving plate. Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds and chocolate curls. Additionally, place some ground cherries on the plate around the cake and dust them with icing sugar. Serve immediately with strong coffee and cognac.

*) Finnish chocolate or vanilla creme filled sandwich cookies by a brand name "Domino" are ment to be used in this recipe. However, Domino cookies are rather similar to OREO sandwich cookies, so the latter can be used as a substitute for Domino cookies. Preferably use chocolate creme filled OREOs, but also vanilla filling ("original OREO") works fine.

Recipe source: "Suklaajuustokakku", magazine ad by Valio Ltd, early/mid-1990s.


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