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Irish Stout Cheesecake

March 12, 2018

This decadent chocolate cheesecake gets a smooth and light texture with the addition of stout beer. Because of the slow cooling and chilling, this dessert is best made a day or so ahead.

Chocolate Crust


  • 1 cup chocolate wafer or chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • scant 1/4 cup butter, softened until almost melted
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder



  • 3 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup Irish stout beer such as Guinness, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Set a rack in the middle of the oven for the cheesecake, then set a 9-by-13-inch pan of water on the rack below. (This takes the place of baking the cheesecake in a water bath. Both methods prevent the top from cracking.) Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter.

For the crust, in a small bowl combine crushed cookies with butter, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and cocoa powder. Press onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, in a large bowl beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. While beating, gradually add 1 cup sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until smooth.

In a microwave-safe bowl combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Heat in the microwave in 20 second bursts, until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring each time you pause. Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture and combine until no streaks are visible. Add sour cream, salt, stout and vanilla, and blend until mixture is smooth. It will be thinner than most cheesecake batter. Pour the mixture over the crust.

Bake the cheesecake for 48 minutes, then turn oven off. With the oven door cracked open just a little (we use a wooden chopstick), leave the cheesecake in the oven another 45 minutes. (More crack prevention.)
Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife along the edge. Leave cheesecake on a rack until cool enough to refrigerate. Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge, pan and all, and chill for at least 4 hours.
For an extra treat, top each cheesecake slice with whipped cream, flavored with a touch of Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Cook’s note: If you’re in a hurry, or for any cheesecake that cracks on the top, spread a thin opaque layer of sour cream over the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle sliced almonds, your favorite chopped nuts, cookie crumbs or decoration of your choice, in a circle around the edge for a beautiful (and tasty) presentation. If you use a can of Guinness for the recipe, read the notes on the can before opening. It’s not like ordinary beer!