Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
For the double chocolate chip cookies
makes 20 large cookies
225 g (8oz) butter, softened
325 g (111/2oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
225 g (8oz) plain flour
75 g (3oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
175 g (6oz) dark chocolate (55–70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces, or dark chocolate chips
For the cheesecake
15 g (1/2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
25 ml (1fl oz) strong coffee, such as espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract
500 g (1lb 2oz) mascarpone
400 ml (14fl oz) double or regular cream
50 g (2oz) icing sugar
50 g (2oz) dark chocolate (55–75% cocoa solids), grated, for sprinkling
9-12 of the double chocolate chip cookies
23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin
Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until very soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Crack in one egg at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then add the chocolate pieces/chips and fold in to combine. Alternatively, place all the ingredients except the chocolate pieces/chips in a food processor and whiz briefly until they come together, then fold in the chocolate.
With wet hands, form the dough into balls each the size of a golf ball (or use two soup spoons to scoop up and shape the same amount of dough). Arrange on the prepared baking sheets, placing 6–7 balls of dough on each sheet and leaving space for the cookies to spread.
Bake for 10–14 minutes or until the cookies look slightly cracked on top. (With three baking sheets, you will need to cook them in three batches, or two batches in a fan oven.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the baking sheets using a palette knife or metal fish slice and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla extract, mascarpone, cream and icing sugar for 1–2 minutes or until thick.
Arrange one-third (3–4) of the cookies in the bottom of the cake tin, then spread over one-third of the chocolate cream mixture. Add a second layer of cookies, then another layer of chocolate cream, followed by a final layer of cookies and a final layer of chocolate cream.
Use a spatula to smooth the top layer of chocolate cream, then cover the tin with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for eight hours or overnight.
To remove the cheesecake from the cake tin, run a small, sharp knife around the cheesecake to loosen the edges, then unfasten the clip and lift away the sides of the tin. Using a palette knife or a metal fish slice, loosen the cheesecake from the base of the tin and carefully slide off onto a plate. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.