As I was scoping out some of the different beer blogs that are all over the ‘net I noticed a post on B.C. Beer Blog about a cheesecake made with Russian Imperial Stout. “I like Russian Imperial Stouts and I like cheesecake,” I said to myself. I often talk to myself. So I started perusing the recipe (adapted here for a US audience):
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
32oz (4 8oz pkgs Philadelphia) cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 lb dark chocolate melted in a double boiler
12oz Russian Imperial Stout (room temperature, degassed)
4 large eggs at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325°F (or 300°F if using a dark pan). Grease the sides of 9? spring form pan and cover bottom with wax paper. Mix crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar, and melted butter in a bowl until evenly blended; press firmly onto the bottom of the pan with a fork.
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth, then add remaining ingredients (except eggs) at medium speed until well blended. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing each until just blended. Pour batter over crust.
Bake 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from side of pan by running a paring knife around the inside edge. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before removing side of pan. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Michel Brown’s Russian Imperial Stout Cheesecake by Fred Eckhardt in Northwest Brewing News, Feb/Mar 2008, Volume 7 Number 1, pg. 29.
The author of BC beer blog mentions a method of degassing the beer, personally I think it’s just easier pouring the beer into a bowl and whisking it until it seems degassed. Also, the author makes no mention of the cheesecake being cooked in a water bath, but seeing how that’s the only way I’ve ever cooked cheesecake, I went about using one. Using a water bath added about an extra half hour to the cooking time, but your mileage may very.
I ended up using Founders Breakfast Stout as my RIS of choice as I thought the chocolate and coffee notes in the beer would really enhance the cake. Did they? I don’t know, I’d almost have to make a separate cake using a different beer to see the difference. I think almost any RIS would work well in the beer, so use the one you like best.
I ended up using a very bitter chocolate which made the cake very bitter as well. This wasn’t a bad thing for me as I love a bitter chocolate dessert, but if bitter chocolate isn’t your thing you may want to try a very high end milk chocolate and see how it turns out. If you do end up trying this out, let me know your results.