Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake with Guinness Ganache

As a young child I never understood why my teachers made such a big deal about St. Patty's Day. We didn't receive gifts, there was no abundance of candy, no costumes, and no fireworks. As an adult, this has become one of my favorite holidays, most likely because during my college years, it always marked the beginning of Spring Break and fun celebrations with friends. Naturally ,as a college student, I may or may not have enjoyed some beverages called Irish Car Bombs...and they are delicious! These beverages are a half-pint of Guinness Draught, 1/2 shot of Bailey's Irish Cream, 1/2 shot Jameson Irish Whiskey. To make them, you drop the shot into the half-pint glass and chug before it curdles...it may sound disgusting, but if done properly, you will enjoy something very similar to a milk shake. As a real "grown-up" now, I choose to no longer indulge in such beverages for many reasons, including St Patty's Day circa 2011...but I digress. So I created this recipe that combines the perfect cheesecake and the ingredients of the popular St. Patrick's Day beverage and viola: Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake with a Guinness and Irish Whiskey Ganache.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

For the Filling:

  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Baileys
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

For the Ganache:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Guinness Extra Stout
  • 2 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey

Directions: 

For the Crust:

Step 1: In a 9 inch springform pan, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan.

Step 2: Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees; remove from oven to allow to cool.

For the Cheesecake Filling:

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, mix room-temperature cream cheese with sugar until smooth and fluffy.

Step 2: Add Bailey's into filling mix, beating until well incorporated.

Step 3: Add eggs one at a time, allowing mixer to run on high for about 2 minutes. (This is the trick to create a fluffy and light cheesecake; trust me...this will change your life!)

Step 4: Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.

Step 5: Pour filling into prepared crust and bake in preheated oven on the middle rack for 1 hour. Place a pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven.  

Step 6: Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to cool for another hour in the oven to prevent cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving, several hours or overnight.

For the Ganache: 

Step 1: In a double boiler, heat the chocolate, cream, Irish whiskey, Guiness, and pinch of salt (optional).

Step 2: Stir until smooth.

Step 3: Pour over cooled cheesecake and return to refrigerator to set up. 

I recommend allowing the cheesecake to chill overnight as it allows the flavors to really develop. 

This is lovely served with Irish coffee or even just plain coffee.

Pair this dish with my Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage with a Guinness Reduction and Guinness Beer Bread for the perfect St. Patrick's Day feast! Tweet us your pics of your dish to @CampMakery