“Cappuccino, please.” Most times, this phrase means you’re ordering a cup of Italian coffee. But at Junior’s, you can have your cappuccino inside a cheesecake. It’s bursting with coffee, cream, and, of course, cheese. They decorate it with bittersweet chocolate curls and dust it with cocoa, just like cups of cappuccino are topped off in the coffee bars. Bon appetito!
Junior’s Sponge Cake Crust
1⁄3 cup sifted cake flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 extra-large eggs, separated
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops pure lemon extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 350° and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (preferably a nonstick one). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat until thick light yellow ribbons form, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the extracts. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand, just until no more white flecks appear. Now, blend in the melted butter. Now, wash the mixing bowl and beaters really well (if even a little fat is left, this can cause the egg whites not to whip). Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl and beat with the mixer on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites will stand up and look glossy, not dry). Fold about one-third of the whites into the batter, then the remaining whites. Don’t worry if you still see a few white specks, as they’ll disappear during baking. Gently spread out the batter over the bottom of the pan, and bake just until set and golden (not wet or sticky), about 10 minutes. Touch the cake gently in the center. If it springs back, it’s done. Watch carefully and don’t let the top brown. Leave the crust in the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on while you prepare the batter.
1 tablespoon instant freeze-dried espresso or coffee
1 tablespoon hot water
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat),
at room temperature, divided
1 2⁄3 cups sugar, divided
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
3⁄4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened
Coffee beans (optional)
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, about 21⁄2 inches high
1. Dissolve the instant espresso in the hot water in a small cup and let stand. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1⁄3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 11⁄3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Stir the dissolved coffee into the cream, then beat into the cream cheese mixture just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter on top of the cake crust.
2. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is light tan, about 11⁄4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let the cake cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.
3. To decorate, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Cover the top with the chocolate curls and dust with the cocoa. Decorate the center of the cake with a few coffee beans if you wish (be sure to remove them before serving). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the cold cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
The Junior’s Way
When sprinkling the cocoa, put it in a tea strainer and sift it right onto the top of the cake. This makes it easy to get a fine even dusting of cocoa, just where you want-any lumps stay inside the strainer.
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or white chocolate
Makes enough to generously decorate one 9-inch cheesecake
For large chocolate curls:
Melt the chocolate over low heat. Spread it out in a thin sheet on a flat surface—but not so thin that you can see the surface through the chocolate. If you have a marble slab, use it. If not, use a baking sheet. Let the chocolate cool. Using a baker’s bench scraper or a wide, flat metal spatula, scrape up the chocolate into wide curls, lifting them up as you work. The curls will be different widths and lengths, but that’s fine. If the chocolate curls up into one long sheet, let it cool more before scraping again. Carefully place the curls where you want them on the cake. If you are decorating the side of the cake with them, press the curls gently into the frosting with your fingers so they stay, without falling off.
For smaller chocolate curls:
Buy a thick bar of chocolate and use at room temperature (not straight from the refrigerator). Stand up the chocolate bar vertically, slightly on an angle, against a flat surface, such as a chopping board. Slowly scrape down the bar with a vegetable peeler, allowing the chocolate to fall away into a pile of soft curls. Using a wide, flat metal spatula, carefully place them on the cake.
- Recipe & photos From:
- Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook published by The Taunton Press in 2007
- Authors: Alan Rosen and Beth Allen
- photographer: Mark Ferri