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Celebrate the cheesecake ... with beer

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Irish Chocolate Stout and Cream CheesecakeNational Cheesecake Day is July 30, and in all of the excitement of this great event this recipe is a day late. Cheesecake is one of my favorite foods, and this cheesecake combines another of my favorite things, beer, to make a delightful dessert that is appropriate for National Cheesecake or St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

Irish Chocolate Stout and Cream Cheesecake
 
Crust
1 cup shortbread cookie crumbs
1 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp butter, melted
 
Syrup
4 cups chocolate stout
2 cups dark brown sugar
 
Filling
One 8-oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
One 1/4-oz envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
 
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, ginger and melted butter until the crumbs are completely moistened. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch round springform pan. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
 
To make the syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the stout and brown sugar. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool.
 
To make the filling: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Add the cream and continue beating for 3 – 4 minutes, or until smooth. Stir in half of the chocolate stout syrup and all of the Irish cream. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir a tablespoon of the syrup into the gelatin and then stir the gelatin into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling into the crust. Refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours, or until firm. Reserve the remaining syrup at room temperature.
 
To serve: Release the sides of the pan and cut the cheesecake into wedges. Drizzle some of the syrup over and around the slice and serve.
 
Serves 10 – 12.
 

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