It’s about this time during the week of Passover – right in the middle of Hol Hamoed, the intermediate days – that all I want to do is shove an enormous pastry or bagel in my mouth. I know Passover isn’t all about the food, but as a baker, I am seriously missing my sweets and carbs.
Last year I was flipping through cookbooks around this time for inspiration and came up with an idea that combined several of my favorite desserts: cheesecake, ganache and macaroons.
This chocolate chip cheesecake is really like making any other cheesecake – but instead of a graham cracker crust, you combine ground almonds, shredded coconut, butter and melted chocolate as the base. I mean, what could be bad? Add in some mini chocolate chips and top it all off with deep dark glossy ganache and you have a beautiful gluten-free dessert you can enjoy
For the crust:
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 3 oz dark chocolate chips
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 4 8 oz packages full-fat cream cheese (not whipped)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the ganache:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 tsp butter
- pinch of salt
To make the crust:
- Pulse almonds in a food processor until they resemble coarse meal. Add coconut and pulse 1-2 more times.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate together at 20 second intervals until smooth. Whisk together and then add to almond-coconut mix. Add pinch of salt and combine.
- Press into the bottom of a round springform pan and put into fridge while the oven is heating.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
- Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
To make the filling:
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla using a hand mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared crust and bake for 55 minutes or until the center is almost set but still a bit wobbly. Place into fridge to chill.
To make the ganache:
- After the cheesecake has chilled at least one hour, heat heavy cream in a saucepan until just boiling and place chocolate into a heat-safe bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add butter and pinch of salt and stir with a whisk until shiny, smooth and all the pieces have broken up.
- Pour over cheesecake and place back into fridge to continue chilling for at least 3 more hours or overnight.