In the evening we went to one of our families favorite restaurants in Temecula's newly renovated outdoor Promenade mall, Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ. See the review here. It is the perfect place for a noisy family of six. Although.. we had to wait for an hour and a half to be seated and the outdoor overhead misting system wreaked havoc on my hair, and it wasn't even that hot outside!
Dinner was wonderful. The meat at Lucille's is slow smoked in a beefy in-house smoker with the tastiest attention to their sauces. We have had the family sized portion of racked ribs, BBQ chicken whole and sliced in sandwiches, slow smoked tri-tip steak sandwiches, cob salad with smoked chicken and their hearty Angus beef burgers.. all wonderful, tender and finger lickin good! But this time around I am here to talk about their desserts. The first time we went My husband and I split the pecan pie accompanied by a luscious bourbon sauce. Sooo Good! On Father's Day we hadn't intended to order dessert because I had a Cheesecake waiting at home, but while eying that creamy deluxe chocolate cake that flew by it was really hard to pass it up. My husband had the wonderful idea of turning my plain old Almond Amaretto Cheesecake into the dessert I have posted here, the "Almond Amaretto Chocolate Deluxe Cheesecake".
Emeril Lagasse couldn't have said it better.. "Baam!!" We only purchased one slice of Chocolate cake, but these slices for $6.00 are large enough to share. Creamy, satiny, tender, smooth, moist, rich, and "deluxe" are all words to describe this cake. My daughter loved it so much that last night she purchased a slice to have with her in line at the movie theater while waiting for doors to open for the midnight premier of "The Transformers" movie.
So my cheesecake plus the added slice of chocolate cake royalty made a wonderful dessert to end a fabulous Father's Day celebration!
Almond Amaretto Chocolate Deluxe Cheesecake
1 Cheesecake recipe (follows)
1 Chocolate Deluxe cake
1 Almond Graham cracker crust recipe (follows)
Chocolate Syrup or a thinned out ganache
Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup blanched almonds (whole or ground)
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. Amaretto Liqueur
3 sticks of 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. Flour
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees°.
In a food processor grind almonds still mealy. Mix together with graham cracker crumbs and the remainder of crust ingredients. Lightly press into a springform pan slightly going up an inch on the sides. Set crust aside.
Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, Amaretto and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Cover bottom securely with foil. I do this so butter from the crust does not drip in my oven. I almost think this also prevents the bottom from cooking to quickly while the thick middle is cooking.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is a little jiggly in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Turn the heat off and open the door of the oven so it is ajar. Let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. At least 12 hours. I like to make my cheesecakes a whole day in advance to serving.
Top with a whole creamy, satiny, tender, smooth, moist, rich, and "deluxe" chocolate cake! We served it with a drizzle of warm chocolate syrup and whipped cream. The chocolate cake with almonds and Amaretto is naturally a winning combination but you can surely alternate nuts or do without. Pine nuts also make a wonderful addition to a cheesecake crust!