#107 after-eight cheesecake

It’s yet again time for another birthday post and this time around we happily indulged in some minty chocolate delight, my husband’s long-time absolute favorite!  Andes Mints have always been his beloved perfectly-sized chocolate fix, and for those of you who don’t know them, they’re small rectangular candies consisting of one mint-green layer sandwiched in between two chocolate-brown layers, wrapped in their traditional green foil imprinted with the company’s logo with the word Andes written amidst a drawing of snow-capped peaks…oh joy, in a tiny compact sandwich.

It was always my mother’s favorite gift for him back home, a must in his Christmas stocking or birthday present.  Given that they’re made in Delavan, Wisconsin they aren’t that popular here in Germany, or even readily available for that matter (like most things American)…but in no time, my husband found a new European mint chocolate love: the English version, After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins by Nestlé, simply referred to as After Eights.  A confectionery product intended to be used as yummy after-dinner mints, they’re made from a fondant center made of an interesting paste of saccharose & water, coated with a delicate layer of dark chocolate.  I have to add this fun tidbit: they’re certified kosher!

Inspired by a delicious recipe I found a while ago on the Intrawebs and saved for this particular occasion, I ventured into the kitchen to prepare my birthday present for my husband and came out with winning, delicious results that made him one happy man for the coming days.  I, on the contraire, am ready to never see another mint chocolate thin mint for the next couple of years!

This cheesecake layered dessert is a delicious fusion of rich chocolate cake with a fluffy mint cheesecake, which – as you can clearly see in my picture – was tinted into more of a Hulk green by my very eager & diligent aide!  I look forward to preparing my forever-favorite classical cheesecake, and this was the first homemade variety we tried around here!  Thanks to the folks over at Club of Cooks for the amazing inspiration!

For the After Eight Cheesecake

  • 1 cup (200g) of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (250g) of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) of sugar
  • 3/4 cup (90g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) of milk
  • 285ml of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (225g) of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Green food color additive
  • 10 mint chocolate thin mints
  • 1/2 cup (90g) of milk chocolate

To begin, prepare and layer a 9-inch springform pan and set the oven to 350°F (180°C).  In a small microwavable bowl, add the bittersweet chocolate & butter and melt in the microwave.  Mix well until smooth & extra chocolatey!  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar until fluffy.  Add the flour & cocoa powder, carefully sifting both through into the egg mixture.  Add the milk and stir with a spatula just enough until even.  Do not over-mix.  Drop the batter into the lined springform and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, using most of the heavy cream – leave about 3 tablespoons for later! – whip it up with the sugar until fluffy.  Separately, mix the cream cheese with the powdered sugar & vanilla until smooth.  Add the whipped cream and enough green food color additive for the attractive mint green color – not thinking Hulk, here, people!  Since there are so many different kinds of food coloring products out there, I won’t give any amounts in the recipe…that was our problem, we measured 1 teaspoon and it turned out our color was way too strong and we could have used a whole lot less.

Roughly chop about 6 of the thin mints and add them to the cheesecake mixture, stirring until evenly distributed.  This will give the cheesecake enough of a minty touch!  When the chocolate cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely before adding the cheesecake mixture over it.  Spread the mixture evenly and cool in the fridge for about an hour.  Using the remainder of the heavy cream – which I specifically asked you to save 3 tablespoons for later! – place in a bowl with the last ingredient on the list, any old milk chocolate will do.  Place in the microwave and melt the chocolate.  Spread over the green cheesecake mixture for a sweet final layer.  Set in the fridge until right before serving.

For the topping, additional whipped cream can be easily prepared or set directly when using the store-bought kind.  I prepared my beloved merengue, which I’ve used on some of my other recipes, like Tres Leches.  Whichever you decide to use, it gives the cake a lighter layer that contrasts deliciously with the rest of the extra sweet goodness!

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