desserts

Bad Moon Rising Cheesecake

By 10/11/2020July 31st, 2023No Comments

I’ll be sharing some of my most popular Halloween dishes from Castellon’s Kitchen in order to consolidate them and to give them a permanent home here on Ghoul at Heart. So here’s a repost of my Bad Moon Rising Cheesecake from October 2019…

It’s funny how one idea morphs into something completely different after the first attempt crashes and burns. This super decadent and gorgeously dark bittersweet chocolate cheesecake began as an idea for an easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake, made with a ready made cookie crust topped with a jack-o-lantern face made of melting chocolate. In my mind, I envisioned it to look like a larger version of my Jack-o-lantern cupcakes. Seemed pretty straight forward, right? It was supposed to be quick and easy. What could go wrong with a no bake cheesecake, ready-made cookie crust and a jack-o-lantern face? Well…Let me tell you…a whole lot.  Most importantly, the no bake cheesecake was not good. The texture was too soft. It wasn’t dense like a cheesecake should be. Honestly, the best part of it was the damn cookie crust. But the kicker was, and I should’ve known based on my hate-hate relationship with those pesky candy melts…the candy melts nearly broke me this time. I’m still cursing those little buggers because I could not get them to cooperate. My jack-o-lantern face was a hot mess. So I threw the whole thing into the garbage.

I also scrapped the notion of quick and easy and decided to make a real baked cheesecake with homemade cookie crust instead. Which ended up being  way easier afterall. It baked in a low temp oven for over an hour so there was  no work involved as it baked. When I pulled it out of the oven, I realized I forgot to tap the pan a little to get the air bubbles out of the batter because the cheesecake came out looking a whole lot like the surface of the moon with little craters and divots.

Sometimes the best part about making Halloween food is that the imperfections often become the inspiration for the dish! I ditched the jack-o-lantern idea after brainstorming with my husband and toyed with the moon idea since the cheesecake now looked like a moon, a New Moon, an Eclipsed Moon…I doodled some ideas and my husband came up with Bad Moon Rising. And instead using those dastardly Candy  Melts, I made my bad moon face out of Cookie icing. Enjoy!

Bad Moon Rising Cheesecake

Dark and Decadent Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecake
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: dessert, Halloween, Halloween Food, Halloween Recipes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies (I used dark chocolate Oreos®)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)

Batter

  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (melted in 1 T cream)
  • black food coloring (or substitute with 1-2 T black cocoa powder)

Decorating

  • black cookie icing or candy melts
  • black sanding sugar

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.Place cookies in a food processor and process into crumbs and transfer to a small bowl. Add melted sugar and mix until well combined. Line bottom of a springform pan with a round of parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Press crumbs into the bottom of the pan and smooth out crumbs to create an even crust. Refrigerate while prepping batter.

Batter

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until combined. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flour and cinnamon and mix. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Melt chocolate: In a microwave-safe bowl, add 1 T cream to chocolate chips and heat for 1-2 minutes on defrost setting of your microwave. Take care not to overheat. Stir well until smooth and let cool on counter a bit.
  • Add melted chocolate into batter and beat until combined. Add black food coloring (or black Cocoa powder) until desired color is reached. (Note: The batter will darken upon baking.) Pour batter into prepared Springform pan. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for about 1 1/4 hours or until center of cheesecake is firm. Cool for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the Springform pan to loosen the cake from the sides. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. When read to serve, run a knife around the edge again and remove the Springform pan from the cheesecake.

Decorating

  • Draw a template on parchment paper (see below) and place another piece of parchment over the template so you can make a few faces with icing or candy melts until you get the look desired.
  • The icing is very fragile when dried, so you'll want to make them thick and let them dry completely, usually overnight. I placed a small fan on mine, overnight. If using candy melts, place in fridge to firm up. When completely dry, gently peel parchment back to release the face pieces, but be very careful, they will break if you move peel too quickly.
  • After your face pieces are ready, cut the half moon shape out of your template and place the non-face side of your template on the cheesecake. Sprinkle black sugar crystals to the exposed cheesecake to create a dark side of the moon. Carefully remove the parchment template to reveal the black sugar half moon.
  • Place your pieces onto your cheesecake to transform this basic cheesecake into a Halloween ready piece of art! Happy Halloween!

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