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Daring Bakers Layered Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake

Posted by vivnidhi on April 27, 2009

Spatulla at 180 x 180 (largest)Oh Yeah, it was the E L Spatulla’s magic this month!


Perfectly layered Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake

I must admit here that cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for me. Yes, I am extremely fond of custards and the like…..and if you bake it………I can eat it all the time. This is my all time favorite cake. And I had never eaten it all these years when I was in India! Ah! what a waste………I wish I could have eaten it without the guilt ……..calories…….look at yourself……..you still have 10 lbs to lose………look at all the plain sugars you are putting in your body!! UFF!!!  So, when now I baked it and placed it on the table……..in spite of the fact that I was pleased no end that the cake did not crack one bit and was layered exactly as I wanted………the husband’s look said something else.

“This is a calorie bomb…..fat, sugar, cheese………what kind of life will you have……. if you eat more of these”

“Well! when temptation rules, the mirror breaks, and I asked the husband to look the other way ….pleeeeeeeease….”

Ah! I so wish we did not have to fight this constant war against cholesterol and high blood sugar. As, I have so often admitted, the husband has to keep a check on his cholesterol and I have to worry about an eventual high blood sugar. And since I am still 10 lbs more than I was pre-second pregnancy, the threat is real for me. I am not overweight, just that I’d do my health and myself a favor if I lost these pounds.

Well! this blog is not about health rants (it so often becomes) ! I absolutely loved this cheesecake. I have baked cheesecakes before (coffee caramel remains the husband’s fav…….he can’t get over coffee and I chocolate)  but this is the best recipe. I had never tried layering the cheesecakes and since I got all daring ……….I tired it out!

Love you Jenny and your famous friend Abbey for sharing a great, easy recipe. The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

This is truly an easy recipe and I know this will be made again!

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

1 3/4  cups / 240 g chocolate wafers

7 Tbsp. / 3 1/2 oz butter, melted
1/4 almonds ground

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
3 tbsp. Amaretto

7 oz. semi sweet chocolate

The recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. of vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp. of booze. I replace all with amaretto.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

Apr_39 Apr_40

Crushed Chocolate Wafers, almonds and butter


Chocolate wafer crust

My crust definitely had too much butter. I need to reduce it the next time. This did not compromise the taste but it would be better with lesser butter.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, amaretto and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

Apr_44 Apr_47

Cream cheese on the left and creamed ingredients on the right


3 cups plain Amaretto batter is removed and rest mixed with melted chocolate

I chopped the chocolate well and then melted it in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate and check for lumps. Melt further in 15 sec or 30 sec intervals only if there are lumps. Keep stirring after every heating. Removed 3 cups of the batter separately and then added the melted chocolate to the rest of the batter. Mixed with a light hand so as to not overmix.

Apr_54 Apr_55

On top of chocolate wafer crust goes chocolate layer and then sieved very finely ground almonds on top of it.


Ready for the oven

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil “casserole” shaped pans from the grocery store. They’re 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!


The end result! Perfect layers! Hurrah!!

Things I learnt: As I read more on the Daring Baker forum, I realized that my cake top got brown and it should not have browned at all for a perfect cheesecake.

Next My crust indeed got soggy , so I should have either used more foil or used a normal cake pan instead of spring form. Jacque of Daisy lane cakes has very beautifully demonstrated how to use regular pan for cheesecake in her post Sweet Potato Cheesecake.

Some variations from the recipe creator:

** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries – heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stovetop blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon – cook until berries burst, then cool)

** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel – take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website – just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).

** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.

** Mexican Turtle – add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.

** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of “coins” of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Some variations from Jenny (from JennyBakes):

**Key lime – add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.

**Cheesecakelets – put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.

I just melted some more chocolate and piped it lines on top. As I was in a rush, I did not paint the actual leaves with melted chocolate, instead just piped them freehand in leaf shape on wax paper. In the freezer for a quick 15 minutes and the leaves were ready. Remove from wax paper and decorate 😉 .

In spite of the mistakes, this cake was a hit. Loved it a lot and will make again. And guess what the husband visited New York for work and got me a Junior’s cheesecake. Now, I could compare mine against the best. And, I tell you mine was not far from the best. The junior’s cake crust absolutely bowled me over though. I have the junior’s cheesecake cookbook (borrowed from the library) and so I will note down their crust recipe and post when I try it.

If you want to have a look at what all can be done with a cheesecake , please visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll. See imagination and creativity at it best!


Here’s a bite…….enjoy!

Oh, I forgot to list my expenditure:

Cream Cheese 3 (8 oz.) packs ..........$6.18.........from Meijer.......none left
Chocolate wafers ......................$2.50.........from Meijer......all eaten up
Semisweet chocolate....................$2.50..........from Meijer......all eaten up
Total ................................$11.18

31 Responses to “Daring Bakers Layered Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake”

  1. anna said

    Very pretty! I’m jealous of the perfect edge on your cheesecake – mine was definitely not that neat!

  2. /"Carolyn said

    Beautiful cheesecake. I love the look of the layers. Great job!
    Thanks a lot Carlyn, sometimes things just turn out as one plans and is very satisfying. This was one of them:-)

  3. Beautiful cheesecake, delicious flavors, and great photos! Awesome job!
    Means a lot coming from you Lisa. I absolutely adore your pictures.

  4. kk said

    your cheesecake looks absolutely divine!! I can see why you would have a hard time saying no to such a beautiful cheesecake. The chocolate leaves are a beautiful touch. =P
    Thanks a lot KK, I am having a tough time shedding all the troubles good desserts cause.

  5. Olga said

    Your cake looks absolutely beautiful! Love the piping job.
    Thank you Olga.

  6. Namratha said

    Wow Nidhi, your cheesecake is perfect. Love the layers! And nicely decorated too, well done!
    Thank you Namrata, I am so behind on posting about other challenges.

  7. asti said

    uuu.. amaretto and chocolate.. yummm. Great flavour combination. Love your decoration, simple, yet very elegant.
    Thank you Asti. I always look forward to seeing your Daring Baker creations:-)

  8. vibi said

    Impressive! The decorations are absolutely magnificient! WOW.
    Thanks a lot Vibi, love your blog.

  9. rachel said

    Very perfect layers.
    Thanks Rachel:-)

  10. Maya said

    That sure looks like made by a pro, no cracks, neat and perfect! Love cheesecakes and seen too many today ..
    Thanks for the kind words Maya. I am terribly late for 2 Daring Bakers challenges….

  11. Don’t worry about 10 lbs when you have this decadent dessert about. Lovely pix and I just adore your loving husband’s care. Bravo yours from Australia Audax
    Hey Hey, Audax, you the cooking machine…I am absolutely blown over by the speed of your cooking:-)). Keep up the good work , you are an inspiration to many and there are many like me who desperately need one:-). Thanks for stopping by and all the kind words:-)

  12. Junie Moon said

    I love what you did with the cheesecake challenge. The chocolate leaves and design are a beautiful touch. Great job!
    Thank you very much Junie, means a lot coming from you:-)

  13. Jayme said

    absoultely stunning cheesecake! I didn’t even think twice about it being browned on top, it looks gorgeous as is 🙂 your flavor combinations sound incredibly delicious as well!
    Thanks a lot Jayme! It tasted good even though it had browned:-)

  14. Lauren said

    Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! I love the detail on the top =D.
    Thanks a lot Lauren and thanks for visiting too:-)

  15. Chantal said

    Looks gorgeous, the description of the husband look had me cracking up and going: oh no! that’s not nice….anxiously awaiting next month!
    Oh Yeah, the husband has made me so conscious:-), thanks for visiting…...

  16. What a beautiful cheesecake! I love those chocolate leaves on top. Yummy!
    Thank you very much! I am a fan of your blog…., Thanks for visiting!

  17. amelia said

    WOW! Those are some kicking layers! I wanted to do layers but had no idea how to, now I can try it out! =D
    Hey Amelia, the layers turned out easier than I thought. This is a great recipe, can be adapted well. Go ahead , layer all you want 🙂

  18. Natalie said

    Wow your cheesecake looks amazing!! So perfectly decorated.
    Thanks a lot Natalie, it tasted so good , I think that just showed :-))

  19. Amrita said

    Gorgeous! I could just pop in to the screen and grab a piece!
    Glad you liked Amrita, I adore your pictures. Come over quick and we will both have a reason to indulge

  20. Nicole said

    I LOVE amaretto in cheesecake! This looks amazingly good.

    I am such a big cheesecake fan. Really wish it did not have to be this rich! But it really tasted yum yum 😉

  21. JennyBakes said

    This looks spectacular. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker’s Challenge!

    Jenny of JennyBakes

    Thanks for a superb challenge Jenny! It was a lot of fun!

  22. JoannaT said

    I am considering making this cheesecake, but your directions say to add the chocolate layer and bake – you never mentioned adding the amaretto layer. Is this added after the chocolate layer has baked for 20-30 minutes or is everything layered before it enters the oven?
    Hey JoannaT,
    This being such a long email, things get lost:-).
    In step 3. I mention how to mix all the ingredients except chocolate. Remove half the batter aside (this has amaretto) and add chocolate to it.As shown in the pictures, I like to layer the heavier chocolate layer at the bottom and top it with the plain batter kept aside. Everything is layered before it goes in the oven and gets baked together. I hope this clears the doubt:-). Good luck baking!</

  23. Mark said

    This is a beautiful cheesecake! I own and operate a cheesecake business in Albuquerque New Mexico, and have a tip on the pans to use. There are “Removable Bottom” pans that I use in my shop and LOVE them and use a 9 inch silicone baking pan to wrap the bottom of it to keep out water from the water bath! ( I call them my pan condoms, it keeps things out you don’t want in! lol) As for the browning on the top, with all the sugars and the alcohol in the mix, it’s going to brown even just a little just to be cooked completely if you’re using a convection oven. However, if you are using a conventional oven, lower your temps about 25 degrees and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
    Thanks for the kind words Mark. I liked the various flavors you have in your shop. Good luck!

  24. Ishani said

    The cake looks really tempting.. wish i could get a serving from that… 🙂

  25. Susan said

    Gorgeous!! I am writing it down bec I have decided to try it!

  26. Lindsey said

    I’m trying to make this for Thanksgiving this year, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    A tip on the soggy crust: Rather than wrapping in foil, when I do a water bath cheesecake I put the springform into an turkey oven bag. They turn out great and there’s no leakage whatsoever.

  27. Sherry said

    Yes, it is beautiful, but not one comment mentioned how it tasted. I don’t want to commit to a recipe if I’m not reassured that it is delicious!

  28. chocolate said


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  29. Indies said


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  30. Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.

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