Baked S'mores Cheesecake—Prototype 1:
In light of making my first s'mores cheesecake, I looked back and felt that whatever baked cheesecakes I made with a crust, that crust was always based on a Kellogg's All-Bran product—either Original (regular) or Bran Buds—because I wanted more fiber in my recipe than the norm (at least I could not recall basing the baked crust on something else). Then again, my usage of such a high-fiber product was likely influenced by my earlier Bran Buddy/HiFi Buddy efforts.

But for this new cheesecake flavor, I felt that I needed to "shift gears". There has been a wide consensus of the standard s'more consisting of the following three items: chocolate (quite possibly with a further specification that this be
milk chocolate), marshmallow and—graham cracker! And it was this last item here that would move me to make a change in the crust. More specifically that meant swapping out the All-Bran in favor of grahams. The usage of such crackers also happened to be commonplace in traditional cheesecake crusts. But for the sake of fiber, I at least sought out graham crackers that had relatively more of this nutrient. This led me to whole wheat grahams by Mi-Del. Not only did they have a relatively high amount of fiber, but they were all-natural.

Finding all-natural miniature marshmallows was also a challenge. I found a package of them, imported from Israel, at Whole Foods Market. The price wasn't cheap.

I fared better with all-natural milk chocolate chips. I managed to pick up a Ghirardelli package at Market Basket—at a "More for Your Dollar" price. Whew! However, I did not find the Mi-Del grahams there. I managed (barely!) to pick those up at a Stop & Shop store (whose prices I have generally found to be quite a bit higher than Market Basket's, but not as high as at Whole Foods).
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time (allow at least 24 hours) 32 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers (that's 64 ounces altogether) of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine one 16-ounce container of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") springform pan, but do not wrap foil around it until just before the batter is added (spreading the crust in an already wrapped pan can result in greater disturbance to the foil, thus increasing leakage risks).

Graham Crust:
2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Completely blend the above ingredients first, then continue with the ingredient below, mixing it in quickly.
3 oz. graham crackers, ground up (Mi-Del 100% Whole Wheat Honey Grahams recommended)
Note: Because this crust already includes cinnamon in the ingredients shown above, non-cinnamon graham crackers are strongly recommended. But if cinnamon grahams are going to be used, omit the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (also, the sugar listed above, granulated and/or brown, should probably be somewhat reduced in such a case).

Place resulting crust mixture into bottom of the springform pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 8 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Chocolate Batter:
4 tablespoons melted/softened butter
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons arrowroot
40 ounces (5 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

2 cups miniature marshmallows

Expect about 7 to 7 1/2 cups of the resulting batter, but do not add this to the pan all at once. Rather, this needs to be done in six installments.

Wrap the pan in foil just before adding the first batter installment.

For each of the first four installments, gently scoop about 1 1/4 cups of batter into the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the marshmallows, ensuring that they are fully coated and—as much as possible—immersed. After adding an installment, bake the pan with its contents at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, in a tub filled with at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water. To reduce spillage risks, do not fill the tub all the way at this point, because the whole tub-and-pan assembly is going to need to be removed from the oven (in order to comfortably add contents to the pan) between installments.

After all this is done, there should be about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter left, with 60 minutes of baking time reached at this point (15 minutes for each of the first four installments). Now comes the fifth installment—carefully add about half of this remaining batter (do not add any more marshmallows at this point) on top of the pan's other contents. Try to fully coat the entire surface, especially wherever marshmallows may be showing, some of which may keep on floating to the top—but do not be too concerned about this. Next, return the entire pan-and-tub assembly to the oven, but with the temperature lowered to 300 degrees, for 15 minutes. Then take this assembly out and add the last of the batter (the sixth installment), coating the remaining exposed marshmallows as much possible. At this point, fill up the tub generously with boiling water. Resume baking at 300 degrees, for another 60 minutes (based upon usage of a 9 1/2" pan).

Afterward, shut the oven off, and leave its door slightly ajar, with the cheesecake still inside—and in the tub—for an hour. Next, remove the cheesecake from the oven and tub, and add a border of milk chocolate chips around the edge of this cheesecake (see photo below). Continue to cool it down at room temperature for another two hours. After doing so, remove the cheesecake from pan and refrigerate.

S'mores Cheesecake—Prototype 1 (whole) S'mores Cheesecake—Prototype 1 (sliced)

To my surprise, the marshmallows appeared to get fully dissolved into the chocolate batter upon baking. At least I could not see any "whites" remaining.

But this one was a runaway success. It was gone in hardly more than 15 minutes at Living Hope Church (although this cheesecake was served among a snack selection that was not all that big). I myself could easily detect the chocolate. But I had difficulty picking up enough of a marshmallow taste, and I suspected that the aforementioned dissolving was the biggest reason why. The graham crust, however, was very tasty.

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