No Bake Spiderweb Cheesecake
this recipe is originally from last years issue of Martha Stewart Living, and found on melskitchencafe.com
You will need:
For the crust:
-18 oz chocolate wafers (chocolate graham crackers-about 90 total), crushed finely (about 4 1/2 cups)
-1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp sugar
-6oz, (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
-1/2 tsp coarse salt
For the ganache:
-4oz bittersweet chocolate (I used ghirardellis chocolate chips)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
For the filling:
-32 oz cream cheese (four 8oz blocks), softened
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/4 tsp coarse salt
-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
-1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
-1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
To make the crust: Coat a 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray. Mix graham crackers, sugar, butter, and salt into a bowl. Pat mixture into the pan, pressing all the way over the bottom and all the way up the sides. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
To make the ganache: Place chocolate in a food processor. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. When chocolate starts to melt, process it until smooth. Reserve 4 Tbsp ganache for decorating the spider web, and pour remaining ganache into pan spreading it over bottom and all the way up sides of the graham cracker crust. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill.
To make the filling: Beat cream cheese in a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in sugar and salt. Raise speed to med-high and beat until really fluffy about 3 more minutes. Now beat in lemon juice and vanilla.
Whisk heavy cream (with whisk attachment on your mixer...or by hand) until medium stiff peak forms. Whisk 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and then fold in remaining whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread filling into the crust evenly, and tap the sides to release any air bubbles.
For the spiderweb: transfer the reserved ganache into a small ziploc bag. (I had to microwave the ganache for a few seconds at this point because it had hardened a little). Snip a very small corner off of the bag. Starting at the center of the cake, pipe a spiral spacing lines about 1/2 inch apart. Pull a knife in a gently curved line from the center of the spiral to the outer edge. Wipe knife clean and repeat every inch to form a web. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Unmold cake from springform pan and decorate with spiders of your choice.