CHOCOLATE-RIBBON CHEESECAKE


A luscious, rich dessert.  The crust is a combination of ground almonds, flour, butter and sugar.  Each layer of cream cheese mixture is topped with swirls of chocolate. Serves 12


1/2 cup Whole blanched almonds, ground 125 mL
1 cup Unsifted Flour 250 mL
1 cup Sugar 250 mL
1/2 cup (1 stick) Cold butter or margarine 125 mL (1 stick)
1 Large Egg 1 Large
12 oz . pkg. Semisweet Chocolate pieces 375 mL
2 tbsp Vegetable oil 25 mL
3 pkg. 8 oz each Cream Cheese, softened 3 pkg. 225 mL ea.
2 tsp Grated lemon peel 10 mL
3 tbsp Lemon Juice 50 mL
6  Large Egg Whites 6  Large
1 cup (1/2 pint) Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream) 250 mL
Whipped Cream (optional)


In food processor or medium bowl, combine ground nuts, flour and 1/4 cup sugar. Add butter; process or cut in with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg; process or stir until pastry forms a ball. Press into bottom and 2 inches [5 cm] up side of a 9 inch  [22 cm] springform pan. Refrigerate while making filling.

In top of double boiler, melt chocolate and 2 tbsp [25 mL] vegetable oil over hot, not boiling, water until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350F [175C]

In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, grated peel and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Beat in egg whites, one at a time. At high speed, gradually beat in heavy cream until thick and fluffy.

Pour half of cheesecake mixture into prepared crust. Spoon half of chocolate sauce on top. Swirl gently with a knife. Repeat with remaining cheesecake mixture and chocolate.

Bake 55 minutes, or until edges are set and center is almost firm. Cool in pan on rack until room temperature. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 3 hours or overnight. With sharp knife, loosen edge of cake. Remove side of springform pan. Pipe whipped cream decoratively around top edge.


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