makes 20 servings
1 1/2 cups crushed almond macaroons (about 40 cookies)
or if you like, substitute:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and 2 teaspoons almond extract for the almond macaroons.
6 tablespoons butter or margarine (3/4 stick), softened
1 (8 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate squares
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons instant espresso-coffee powder
lemon-peel twists for garnish
Early in day or a day ahead: In 9" by 3" springform pan, with hand, mix almond macaroons and butter or margarine; press on bottom and around side of pan to within 1 inch from top of pan; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt 6 squares semisweet chocolate, stirring frequently. In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese just until smooth. Add melted chocolate, eggs, sugar, milk, and espresso coffee; beat until well blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 3 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Pour cream-cheese mixture into crust in pan. Bake cheesecake 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours or until well chilled. It will be ok to chill for 24 hours.
To serve: Carefully remove cheesecake from pan. Coarsely grate remaining 2 squares semisweet chocolate. Garnish cake with grated chocolate and lemon peel