2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 F. degrees
Butter an 8 inch springform pan. Stir in butter & espresso in a small bowl until combined. Stir in crumbs until they are evenly coated. Pat evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack. Tightly cover bottom & sides of the springform pan with heavy duty foil.
3 pkgs. of cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp. hot water
2 Tbsp. brandy
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate, grated
Beat cream cheese & mascarpone in a mixer bowl at medium-high speed, until light & fluffy, 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula., until completely smooth (3 minutes) Reduce speed to medium & beat in vanilla & salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Pour 4 cups filling over prepared crust & place in a large roasting pan.
Dissolve espresso in hot water. Fold into remaining filling with brandy & grated chocolate. Spoon the mixture evenly over the filling in the pan. Place the pan on a oven rack & pour enough hot water in the pan to come 1 inch up sides. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until center is just set.
Remove cheesecake from water bath. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove foil. Cover & refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, run knife around the edges of pan: remove sides. Sprinkle lightly with cocoa.
*DIVA NOTE*: Someone once told me, when making a cheesecake, to turn off the oven & crack the door open slightly & cool it in the oven. When it’s cooled, remove it, take off the foil & then put it in the refrigerator over night. This is to avoid getting cracks on the top of the cake. It’s said that a quick change in temperature is the reason cheesecakes sometimes cracks. I use this method & it hasn’t failed me.