- Yield: 12 servings
- Prep: 20 minutes
- Cook: 1 hour
- 1/2cup slivered almonds
- 2cups ground chocolate wafer cookies
- 1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2cup sugar
- 1teaspoon lemon juice
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4teaspoon almond extract
- 3large eggs, at room temperature
- 1cup sour cream
- 1tablespoon sugar
- 1/4cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Make the crust: Using a food processor, finely grind the almonds. Add the cookies, sugar, and melted butter and pulse until thoroughly combined. Firmly press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, continuing to form the crust halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- Make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extracts in a food processor. When well blended, add the eggs and process until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the prepared pan with the crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start the topping: Combine the sour cream and sugar in a small bowl.
- When the cake has just begun to crack, remove it from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 350F. Spread the topping evenly over the cake and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the topping is set. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 1 hour before decorating.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and butter together, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool before placing it in a plastic resealable bag. Cut a small corner off one side. Twist the top of the bag slightly and gently squeeze out the chocolate onto a piece of wax paper. Practice making a small circle.
- Starting in the center of the cake, make a circle. Continue making concentric circles around the first circle until you’ve covered the entire cake with circles. Next, slowly drag a toothpick from the center of the cake to the outside edge moving in a straight line the entire way. Move your way around the cake, dragging the toothpick to the outer edge 8 to 10 times. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before serving.
—Reprinted with permission from Rebecca Miller Ffrench’s Sweet Home (Kyle Books).