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When I was 18 years old, I got a job at a trendy cheesecake cafe in Winnipeg. At the time, I really didn’t care much for cheesecake or trendy restaurants, I just needed a job.
Flash forward 15 years later when I started making my own cheesecake. This amazing Grand Marnier Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze was one of the first ones I ever made and it finally got me to understand what all the hype was about – cheesecake is AMAZING! What was I thinking all those years ago?
For it’s time, that cheesecake cafe in Winnipeg probably had the biggest selection of cheesecakes on the planet and I completely squandered the opportunity to indulge in it. However, it was a really strange place to work….
It had these tiny little metal tables with super hard, uncomfortable chairs that were not at all conducive to enjoying cheesecake, or really anything for that matter. And they were jammed together in a very small space, so there was absolutely no semblance of privacy at any table. Personally, I never would have wanted to go there as a customer, even if I had loved cheesecake.
Among the usual misfits you’d find working at that type of restaurant in the late 1980’s, this place was stacked was an inordinate number of anorexic and/or bulimic ballet dancers from the Royal Winnipeg School of Ballet. It was very odd. And they really weird part was that they were all completely cheesecake obsessed! Honestly, I think that’s all they ever ate.
Baked Orange Chocolate Cheesecake
Nor could they understand my utter indifference to cheesecake. Like, why would anyone want to work at a cheesecake cafe if they didn’t love cheesecake? At the end of our shifts we often got to take home cheesecake that the cafe wouldn’t be able to sell. I used to give it to my family and friends. As I said, looking back, I really don’t understand it either; how could I ever not have loved cheesecake? Maybe a love for cheesecake was something that I had to grow into? OR perhaps I just had to have a really great one. Well, this Grand Marnier Liqueur Cheesecake was the one!
Cheesecake water bath
Although cheesecake is not hard to make, if you have one bad experience, it can turn you off ever making it again. And because baked cheesecake is prone to cracking, a water bath is often recommended. However, if you don’t use a water bath and this cheesecake cracks, you can cover up the cracks with the glaze. Or alternatively, simply place a pan of warm water (filled to 2/3 full) on the rack underneath your cheesecake. This creates moisture in the oven, also helping to prevent cracking. I have used this trick many times and it works quite well.
But if you’ve never used a water bath and want to learn how, then watch this video on how to make a water bath for cheesecake! I like her trick of using a bigger pan to protect the cheesecake. It really is a much better way than the old aluminum foil method that tends to leak. Because a water bath is still the ideal method.
Short and sweet 🙂
My stint at that little cheesecake cafe didn’t last long, but that’s probably a good thing. At the time, it definitely was not a good fit for me. However, my family and friends weren’t too happy when I left and their free and delicious cheesecake supply ran dry.
If YOU love cheesecake, then check out my other cheesecake recipes (and I have a new Holiday Cheesecake recipe coming soon!)
Grand Marnier Cheesecake with Chocolate Glaze
- 3 -8 oz -packages low fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur or equivalent amount (approx 1 tsp) Grand Marnier flavoring/extract * you can use the extract but be sure to use equivalent amount on the bottle (see Recipe NOTES)
- 2 tsp instant coffee powder
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 whole large eggs at room temperature
- 3 oz. semi-sweet bakers chocolate, chopped * NOT chocolate chips
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oreo crumbs and granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or spatula). Bake 10 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack.*** Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour and salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
- Add the Grand Marnier, instant coffee, and chocolate chips and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don't overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
- Bake at 300 degrees F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, about 1 hr to 75 minutes. Bake in water bath or put pan of water underneath the baking cake (this creates moisture in the oven). The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely.
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight) and up to 3 days. *Freezing: The cake can for be frozen at this point (prior to putting on chocolate glaze) for up to 1 month. To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to eat, prior to glazing
- In a small bowl, melt the 3 oz. chopped chocolate and the butter. Add the corn syrup and whisk until smooth. Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Pour the glaze on the cheesecake and spread evenly. Put in fridge for a few minute to set.
- To serve, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.
Cheesecake water bath**NOTE: Although cheesecake is not hard to make, if you have one bad experience, it can turn you off ever making it again. And because baked cheesecake is prone to cracking, a water bath is often recommended. However, if you don't use a water bath and this cheesecake cracks, you can cover up the cracks with the glaze. Or alternatively, simply place a pan of warm water (filled to 2/3 full) on the rack underneath your cheesecake. This creates moisture in the oven, also helping to prevent cracking. I have done this trick many times and it works quite well. But if you've never used a water bath and want to learn how, then watch this video on how to make a water bath for cheesecake! I like her trick of using a bigger pan to protect the cheesecake. It really is a much better way than the old aluminum foil method that tends to leak. ***NOTE: My cheesecake in the photos wasn't as firm as it should be in the middle because I didn't have the 8 hours to let it set this time. It's important to let it set for 8 hours or overnight!
This recipe is part of The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck!