Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache

Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache! #gfbaking #recipe

I wanted to make a truly great chocolate cheesecake crust. I mean one that’s wow, that knocks the socks off all bakers, not just gluten-free ones.

Crushed Oreos or gluten-free Teddy Grahams were not good enough as far as I was concerned. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know I have a prejudice against store-bought cookies. Just don’t like them. Sue me.

So I was left with the conundrum what type of cheesecake should I pair with this amazing crust? I chose to start with Kahlua because, well, yum.

Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache! #gfbaking #recipe

Choosing to make a cake with Kahlua caused me to fall down the rabbit hole of coffee liqueurs. I honestly never knew there were so many.

Apparently, there seems to be a common belief in the wine and spirits community that Kahlua has been relegated to mixed drinks, such as the infamous White Russian, because it just isn’t as good as the other coffee liqueurs out there.

Well, I am confessing here to being a closeted White Russian lover myself. Really don’t tell my foodie friends that I would greatly prefer it to a few fingers of 50-year-old scotch neat. Ssh! Our little secret.

Sometimes the classics are simply good, no matter how sophisticated we supposedly have become. White Russians, potato skins, fried zucchini sticks. Sorry foodies. Tsk in disgust all you want, but you know secretly you love them too!

However, I have become curious about these other coffee liqueurs. Justintoxicated wrote a post comparing Kahlua to Tia Maria and Food Republic gives a list of 7 craft coffee liqueurs that are intended to make you re-think Kahlua. You decide and let me know what you think?

Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache

Yields 9-

1 hrPrep Time

1 hr, 25 Cook Time

2 hr, 25 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


For the crust:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened, dutch-process cocoa

For the filling:

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

3 tablespoons Kahlua, Tia Maria or other coffee liqueur

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the ganache:

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Kahlua, Tia Maria or other coffee liqueur (optional)

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

[i]Note: This ganache is much thinner than the one pictured. I realized a really hard and thick covering, while pretty, is not good on such a delicate cake. Not so easy to eat!



    For the crust:
  1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a microwave-safe, medium mixing bowl, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the egg yolk and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the salt, almond flour and cocoa and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Spread the batter about a half-inch thick on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  7. Once cooled, grind the “cookie” into crumbs using a food processor or blender.
  8. In another microwave-safe, medium mixing bowl, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Add the crumbs and mix until thoroughly combined.
  9. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9” springform pan.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Cool to room temperature before adding filling, about 30-45 minutes.
  12. For the filling:
  13. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  14. Fill a 9 x 13 inch pan with about 1 inch of hot water and place it into oven. Tip: I used my roasting pan.
  15. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, scraping side and bottom of bowl frequently to ensure that no lumps remain. Tip: DO NOT overbeat cheesecake batter; beating at a lower speed guarantees a denser, smoother cheesecake!
  16. Turn the mixer down to low speed. Add the sugar and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl.
  17. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat on low speed until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
  18. Switch to the whisk attachment. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla extract, Kahlua and salt. Beat on low speed until combined and there are no lumps. Scrape down the bowl.
  19. Add the cornstarch. Beat on low speed until the cornstarch disappears. Scrape down the bowl.
  20. Place the springform pan (now with a cooled, parbaked crust) into a large oven bag or crock pot liner. Push down the sides of the bag so the top of pan is completely open. Use foil to hold the bag in place if necessary. [i]Tip: I used a
  21. Place the cheesecake into the “water bath” in the oven. Check the level of hot water; it should come halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Add more water if necessary, but do not let the pan float.
  22. Bake for 55 to 70 minutes or until you see a three-inch wobbly spot in the middle of the cheesecake.
  23. Remove from the oven by taking the cheesecake pan out of water bath, and setting it aside on a cooling rack. Remove the bag and any aluminum foil. Run a small knife around sides of cake and leave it to cool completely. DO NOT remove the outer ring.
  24. Once, the cheesecake has cooled, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to overnight.
  25. At least 2 hours before serving prepare the ganache.
  26. For the ganache:
  27. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
  28. Heat the cream on low until it just comes to a simmer.
  29. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  30. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  31. Whisk in the alcohol.
  32. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
  33. Set the cake on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. Remove the outer ring and pour the chocolate ganache over the cake. The cookie sheet catches all the drippings! Smooth the top and sides with a palette knife, if desired. Work quickly as the cold cake will cause the ganache to harden. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Tip from my mother: Cover the cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper to make cleanup easy.
  34. To freeze:
  35. Remove the plastic wrap and the outer ring.
  36. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag.
  37. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  38. Defrost completely before serving
  39. Tip: DO NOT cover the cake with ganache before freezing. Add it after you defrost it and are ready to serve.
Recipe Type: Dessert

Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache! #gfbaking #recipe

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41 thoughts on “Kahlua Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust and Chocolate Ganache

  1. Love all the word you're using -chocolate, cheesecake, almonds ... ;) I hope you will share your recipe with our Link Up - Idea box: http://milaslittlethings.com/2015/04/idea-box-thursday-link-party-6.html xx Mila Mila recently posted...50 shades of…My Profile
  2. Hi Elle, Your Kahlua Cheesecake looks delicious, we are going to love it. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome Cheesecake with us at Full Plate Thursday this week and hope you have a great weekend. Come Back Soon! Miz Helen
    1. Well, not really a good idea but here's what to do. And the good news: It is easier. Just buy some gluten-free chocolate wafers. Ground them into crumbs either with a food processor or put them into a plastic storage bag and roll them with a rolling pin. Use 1 1/2 to 2 cups (depending how thick you want the crust) of crumbs and combine them with 4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter. The consistency should be like wet sand. Press it onto the bottom of pan and bake it at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. If you are like me and can't stand store bought cookies, I have a recipe for chocolate wafers on the site http://onlytastematters.com/megan-moores-white-chocolate-lavender-icebox-cake/. You can quarter that, mix it up and move to step 6. I tried to find you another recipe to follow but none of them were for a parbaked crust. They all said to just refrigerate, freeze or set aside the crust and I really don't like that. The final cake's crust ends up too soggy. I hope this makes sense but let me know if you need any more clarification.
    1. Thank you. You can simply eliminate the cornstarch. Cornstarch just keeps cheesecakes from cracking. It doesn't affect the flavor at all. I doubt it will crack but if it does, who cares? You are covering it with ganache anyway. :)
  3. Oh my!! This looks utterly delicious! I don't like store bought cookies either, so can't wait to try this crust recipe! Thanks for sharing:-)

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