I let Alex choose the first cheesecake I would cook and he opted for the Heath Bar Cheesecake. It's not surprising that he would select the heath bar cheesecake since his favorite cookies have chocolate and toffee crunch in them.
Heath Bar Cheesecake:
Juniors Shortbread Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra-large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extractPreheat oven to 350 F and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.Mix the flour, cornstarch and salt together. In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on high until creamy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until blended. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture just until it disappears and a dough forms. Work the dough with your hands until it comes together in a ball. Chill about 30 minutes if you have time. (I highly recommend - it makes it easier to play with.)
Flour your hands, then place the dough in the center of the pan and begin pressing with the heels of your hands from the center outward toward the edges, working in a circular motion around the pan and up the sides. Prick the crust in several places with a dinner fork.Bake the crust just until it is set and golden (do not over bake), about 15 minutes. Leave the crust in the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on while you prepare the batter.
Heath Bar Cheesecake:
One 8 oz Hershey's milk chocolate bar
Four 8 oz packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
Eight 1.4 oz Heath milk chocolate English toffee candy barsWhile the crust above is cooling, chop 3 Heath bars with a chef's knife into small chunks and sprinkle over the cooled crust.Melt the Hershey's bar and set aside to cool. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until cream, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Blend in the melted chocolate, then the cream, beating just until completely blended. Don't over mix! Gently spoon the batter on top of the crust.
Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes up about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges look baked and the top of the cake appears set, about 1 1/4 hours Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away - don't move it.) Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours. Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour. Roughly chop remaining Heath bars and sprinkle over top.
I have to tell you, I am impressed as all get out with this cookbook. Every time I have made cheesecake in the past, I have ended up with a crack in the top the size of the Grand Canyon. I am pleased to say that the top of this cheesecake was perfect and smooth...even though I had the excuse of putting Heath bar on top. That alone made me love this recipe!
But HOLY YUMMINESS!!!! This cake was so yummy! I have learned a funny think since I have been cooking so much. I don't follow directions very well. :) I made this cake the day I was planning on serving it and neglected to see the whole last part where it says to let the cake set for 5+ hours after it is done cooking. I served this 2 1/2 hours after I took it out of the oven. As a result, the innards were wet and custardy. But it didn't matter...it was still amazing!TRY THIS CHEESECAKE!!!!