Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like cheesecake. Today is my sister's 22nd birthday, and instead of some fabulous sugar confection of a cake, she requested cheesecake in the flavour of her favourite ice cream - heavenly hash.
After scouring various recipe websites, I was unable to find a recipe for heavenly hash cheesecake, and so I wound up modifying this recipe for Hershey's Chocolate Marble Cheesecake (well, plus some chopped dark chocolate and freshly toasted pecans).
For those who are brave enough to try the recipe for themselves, I've copied it below (along with my modifications). If you don't feel like trying it, I suppose you will just have to gaze at the photograph and drool.
Heavenly Hash Cheesecake Recipe
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted butter
3 8oz. packages cream cheese
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp oil
1 cup pecans, freshly toasted and chopped
2 bars of decent quality dark chocolate (I used one with nuts and one without)
Preheat oven to 350F, and lightly grease a spring form pan. Combine ingredients for crust, press into the bottom of the spring form pan to form crust (I always press with my fingertips or the bottom of a drinking glass). Bake in oven for ten minutes - I took this opportunity to toast the pecans in the same oven. Cool crust thoroughly.
Using an electric mixer, beat together packages of cream cheese until well combined and very creamy. Slowly add 3/4 cup of sugar, continue beating and scraping the edges of the bowl until no lumps remain. Fold in sour cream, flour and vanilla, then beat thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly.
In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder and oil. Slowly add about 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture and mix thoroughly.
In a third bowl, mix together toasted pecans and one of the bars of dark chocolate (finely chop the dark chocolate first).
In the spring form pan, layer together spoonfuls of vanilla mixture, chocolate mixture, and the occasional sprinkling of chopped pecans mixture, until all mixtures have been used up. Reserve about half of the pecan mixture for sprinkling on top. Take a knife and lightly swirl together mixtures to create a 'marbled' effect. Increase oven heat to 450F. Bake cake for 10 minutes, then without opening the oven door, decrease heat to 250F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Shut oven off, and let cool in hot oven for 30 minutes more (without opening oven door). Loosen edges of cake from pan with a knife, then allow to cool in the fridge for several hours. Serve chilled with slices of dark chocolate on top.
This cake earned rave reviews from my family members, and most importantly, from my sister. Happy birthday!