While these instructions are buried in the recipe for peanut butter cheesecake, we thought that since it’s such a useful recipe for cheesecakes, chocolate tarts, and other desserts, it deserved a page of its own. Besides, we have a quick tip for getting those professional-looking crusts.
- 48 chocolate wafer cookies
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- Pinch salt
You could buy the chocolate wafer cookies, or you could make them; we posted just such a recipe yesterday. Either way you’ll have a tasty crust, but we think it’s kind of nice when you’re scratchin’ up a dessert, you might as well go all-out.
Butter pan. Butter up your springform pan. Say, “Oh, what a lovely pan.” No, that won’t help, but the butter does help the crust stick to the sides before baking. So, even if you have one of those non-stick pans, butter it.
Crush cookies. Partly crush the cookies and place the pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Pulverize with abandon. Make cookie dust. Well, pulse until you have fine cookie crumbs.
Grinding the crumbs until they are very fine will make for a crust that is easy to press into the pan.
Melt butter with salt. Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, toss a pinch of salt on, and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until the butter melts.
Mix in crumbs. Dump the crumbs into the butter, and use a fork to toss the crumbs until they are all moistened. Simple, huh?
Press into pan. Here’s the secret, spread the crumbs evenly in the pan, then use a straight-sided glass or measuring cup to press the crumbs up the sides and smooth out the bottom. This will help make sure that you’ll have a crust that is the same thickness all over. Take your time, the crumbs aren’t going anywhere.
Freeze. Place the crust, pan and all, into the freezer. You’ll want to leave it in there for 10 minutes or so before baking.
Preheat oven to 350°F. While the crust is freezing, move a rack to the center of the oven and start preheating the oven; it’ll be hot when the 10 minutes are up. Meanwhile, you might as well clean up those dirty dishes. That takes about 10 minutes, too.
Bake. Bake the crust on a cookie sheet (sometimes springform pans leak) for 10 minutes.
Cool. Once baked, place the crust on a rack to cool completely. You might have some butter “puddles” on the bottom of the crust, and just a bit of slumpage on the sides. The butter will get re-absorbed, but the slumpage is permanent. You’ll have to live with it.
Use this crust for you favorite cheesecake or torte. It’s a nice, not too sweet, but very chocolatey crust that should pair with almost any dessert. Five stars.