Espresso Bean Cheesecake
6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup coarsely ground dark roasted coffee (see note)
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a food processor, whirl cookies into fine crumbs; you should have 1-1/2 cups. Pour into a 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim; add butter and mix. Press mixture over bottom and 1/2-inch up sides of pan.
In a 1 to 2-quart pan over medium-high heat, combine cream and coffee beans. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Pour mixture through a fine strainer, pressing to extract as much of the liquid as possible (the finer grounds will pass through the strainer); discard residue.
In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary. Beat in cream mixture and vanilla. Pour into crust-lined pan.
Bake in a 300ºF regular or convection oven until center barely jiggles when cake is gently shaken, about 1 hour.
Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and pan rim. Refrigerate cake until cool, at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days (see notes).
To serve, remove pan rim and cut cake into wedges.
Note: Buy coffee ground for a French press coffeemaker (a slightly coarser grind), or whirl whole beans in a coffee grinder or food processor. You can bake this cheesecake up to 2 days ahead; chill until cool, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.