When I started this project I thought it was going to be a Survive It story. I have never baked a cheesecake in my life, unless you count jello no bake cheese cake; but we all know that doesn’t really count as food anyway. It had caught my eye because, well… it sounded like a manly cheesecake. It was the sort of dessert you would eat in a log cabin in a plaid flannel shirt after spending all winter growing a beard that might rival your chest hairs. The sort of dessert you would want after wrestling bears and spearing fish through a tiny hole in the ice.
I tend to take on a go big or go home attitude with my cooking or baking. The stranger and more complex the recipe is, the better. Odd flavor pairings tend to get me all excited and this cake seemed to have everything but the kitchen sink.
The candied bacon had me a bit stumped because I didn’t even know you could candy meat. Apparently you can, and if you like to confuse your senses with salty and sweet, then candied bacon is the thing for you.
I was also a little nervous about using a spring form pan. The last time I attempted to use one my cake somehow miraculously managed to leak out the bottom of the pan and make a huge and horrible mess. Thankfully this did not happen this time around.
All in all I was happy with how this cheesecake turned out. The contrast between salty and sweet is always a good thing not to mention the ample amounts of chocolate and beer. I am no longer scared to use a spring form pan and I will gladly be making more cheesecakes in the future.
- 4 standard sized graham crackers
- 1 c pretzels
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsp melted butter
- 7 oz dark chocolate, 60% cacao
- 1 cup of stout beer (coffee stouts or chocolate stouts work great)
- 3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4c granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/3 c cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp of ground espresso (or 1 Tbsp espresso powder)
- 3/4 c beer candied bacon, finely chopped
- 1/2 c beer candied bacon, finely chopped
- Place oven rack in the middle position, on the rack below place a baking dish filled with water.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°
- In a food processor or blender add graham crackers, pretzels and sugar and process until it reaches a crumby consistency.
- Slowly stream in the melted butter and process until you have a texture like wet sand.
- Spray the inside of a 9" spring form pan with cooking spray.
- Pour the processed crumbs into the pan and press into the bottom of the pan with a fork or something heavy until you have a well compacted flat surface.
- In a pot over medium-high heat, pour the beer and dark chocolate.
- Stir until melted then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
- One at a time add in the eggs, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions.
- Pour the cooled chocolate into the mixer and beat until well combined.
- Add in flour, cocoa powder, espresso and bacon. Stir on low speed until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.
- Place in the oven on the rack directly over the pan of water.
- Bake the cheesecake until the center no longer jiggles about 45 to 60 minutes (or more!) depending on your oven.
- Allow cheesecake to cool completely before removing from the spring form pan.
- Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.
- Refrigerate before serving.
- Its okay if the top cracks a bit when it is baking.