Mar 13, 2013

White Chocolate & Cointreau Frozen Cheesecake with a Milano Cookie Crust

This is the first recipe, well boozily adapted recipe I'm sharing that I learned in culinary school.  The original didn't include the chocolate or alcohol, I mean really why bother!?  So I've dressed it up and got it ready to party.  My kind of cheesecake.
Although the term for this dessert is a frozen cheesecake, don't let that fool you.  This is not a baked cheesecake that is frozen and eaten.  In fact there is no baking required with this dessert, all the ingredients are whipped/mixed/frozen.  This is a creamier, lighter, and almost ice-creamy version of cheesecake.  The texture is extremely delicate and melts instantly in your mouth, really it's something amazing.
There is only one problem with this recipe.  The crust calls for 21 milano cookies, which is about 1 and a half bags.  That means you are left with half a bag of milanos in the house.  AND a cheesecake.  All aboard stretchy pants.   
White Chocolate & Cointreau Frozen Cheesecake with a Milano Cookie Crust
makes one 9-inch cheesecake
printable version
For the crust:
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder   
For the filling:
300 grams cream cheese
2 sheets gelatin (3.5 grams each, 7 grams total)
120 grams sugar
40 ml water
3 egg yolks
600 ml whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200 grams white chocolate
3-4 tablespoons Cointreau 
Caramel sauce to drizzle
Pulse the cookies in a food processor until crumbs form (I broke them in half first).
Pour crumbs into a medium sized bowl, add espresso and melted butter.

Mix with a fork (or your fingers) until thoroughly incorporated.
Transfer mixture to a spring form pan and press evenly along the bottom and up the sides.  Use a measuring cup to help even out the crust, this works great especially along the sides.  Keep refrigerated until ready to fill.

Soak the gelatin in cold water and set aside.

Whisk the egg yolk until it becomes pale and frothy.  Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan to make a thick syrup.  Pour the syrup onto the whisked egg yolks while continuing to whisk. 

*If you are a bit wary of not directly heating the egg yolks (like me) use an instant thermometer to guarantee the temperature of the egg mixture reaches a safe 165 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature in which salmonella is killed instantly).  If you find your egg mixture has not reached this point after adding the syrup you can re-heat it over a double broiler until 165 degrees has been reached.

Squeeze out the excess water from the soaked gelatin and mix into the egg mixture.  If your mixture is lumpy the gelatin didn't dissolve completely.  Reheat the mixture over a double broiler, whisking until smooth.
Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth and creamy.  If you have lumps, don't worry keep whisking, it'll get there.

Push the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg or undissolved gelatin.

Whisk in the Cointreau.

Melt the chocolate over a double broiler or in the microwave.  Stir until smooth.  *I accidentally bought white chocolate with almonds, but it still turned out great and either will work.
Stir the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture.
Whip the cream to almost a medium peak and add vanilla extract.  

 Continue to beat until until you've reached medium peaks.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture

Transfer the mixture on top of the cookie crust and spread evenly.  Freeze for 6-8 hours, or until firm.

Blow torch time!  To help release the cheesecake, run the torch around the edge of the pan.  Open lock to release (it will release I promise!)

Serve frozen.

Drizzle with caramel sauce if you wish (I used store bought...shhhh don't tell anyone, okay?) 
 cookie crust recipe from Epicurious
filling recipe adapted from ICCA 

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