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Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake



It is right around St. Patrick’s Day, and I have corned my beef, caramelized onions for my special Irish soda bread, made a decadent and whimsical St.Patrick’s Day cake, and am looking forward to corned beef hash with the leftovers of my boiled dinner. One would think that might be enough cooking in one week, but I always say that enough is never enough. 

I had a bunch of leftover Bailey’s Irish cream, and my work place needed another cake for its St. Patrick’s Day celebration. My boss volunteered to pick something up from the store, knowing I just worked my tukhus off on my Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate cake masterpiece. I initially accepted this offer, but spent the remainder of the day waffling. Could I really let a baking opportunity pass me by?

At the end of the day, I knew I had to put a stop to this madness. I texted my boss, and told her I wanted to make a cheesecake. Another coworker of mine had recently requested that the next baked good I brought into work be a cheesecake, I had leftover Bailey’s, and an excellent base recipe for cheesecake that could be tweaked to feature that lovely chocolate-coffee liqueur. Clearly, this cheesecake was fated to be made.

I decorated this cake very simply compared to chocolate cake; a few chocolate curls here and there, and green sugar sprinkles, a streaks of Bailey’s ganache.

I did bake myself a sample cheesecake to test for quality assurance (and not at all because I was craving cheesecake and wanted a piece but knew I couldn’t disturb my workplace cheesecake). This cheesecake is velvety smooth, rich and fully-flavoured with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Plus, it has an Oreo cookie crust, which is one of my very favorite cheesecake crusts in existence. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
Crust:
29 Oreo cookies
6 tablespoons of melted butter

Cheesecake:
32 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 cup of granulated white sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup Bailey’s Irish Creme
White and dark chocolate curls, to garnish
Green sugar sprinkles, to garnish

Ganache:
10 ounces dark chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream


Special Equipment:
9 inch springform pan
Roasting pan



Method:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, or a 10 inch silicon cake pan, to prevent any water seeping in from the water bath. The water bath ensures that the cheesecake bakes evenly, without dried sides or a cracked center. Spray the inside with baking spray (I use Baker’s Joy).

Put a kettle of water on the boil.

In a food processor, add your 29 Oreo cookies. Pulse into a fine crumb, then drizzle in your melted butter until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press the cookie crumbs into the pan with your hands or the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, then remove to cool slightly.

Clean out your food processor bowl, and add the softened cream cheese. Pulse until the cream cheese is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. With the processor running, add in the sugar a little at a time until fully combined, then add each egg on at a time, again making sure it is fully incorporated before adding the next. The add in the Bailey’s, the vanilla bean paste nd almond extract and pulse to combine. 

Pour the cream cheese mixture into your springform pan, and place the springform pan into your roasting pan. Put the pan into the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting rack, about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle retains some jiggle. Turn off the oven and crack open the door; allow the cake to remain in the cooling oven for a further 1 hour. Then, remove the cake from the water bath and place it on a rack to cool completely. 

Heat the heavy cream to a bare simmer and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then whisk until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add in the Bailey’s and let cool, then spread over the cheesecake.


At this point, you may garnish it with some white chocolate curls or green sugar sprinkles. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.



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