Crust:
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 20        amaretti macaroons or 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
 2 1/2 oz  (1/2 c) blanched, toasted almonds or hazelnuts
 2 tbs     sugar
 2 oz      unsalted butter, melted
 4 oz      semisweet chocolate
 
 Filling:
 --------
 1 lb      semi or bittersweet chocolate
 1 1/2 c   cream
 3 tbs     dutch process cocoa
 3 tbs     instant espresso powder (optional)
 1 c       sugar
 1/2 c     rum (or 3/4 to 1 c Frangelico or Irish cream)
 4 large   eggs, lightly beaten
 2 lb      cream cheese at room temperature
 Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the
 oven to 375 degrees (F). 
 
 Process the macaroons in a food processor or blender until they are
 about as fine as graham cracker crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a mixing
 bowl and process the nuts and sugar together until rather fine.  Mix the
 nuts with the macaroon crumbs.  Add the melted butter and stir to
 moisten the crumbs evenly. 
 
 Turn the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. 
 Spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan with your fingertips
 and then press down firmly to form a compact crust.  Bake for 8 minutes
 then set aside to cool.  When cool, set the pan in the freezer to chill
 the crust. 
 
 Meanwhile, cut the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the top
 of a double broiler over warm water on low heat.  Stir frequently until
 melted and smooth.  Pour the melted chocolate over the chilled crust and
 quickly spread it with the bottom of a spoon til it covers the crust,
 stopping 1/4 inch away from the edge.  Brush melted butter onto the
 sides of the pan and return to the freezer. 
 
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
 
 Cut the chocolate for the filling into small pieces and place them in
 the top of a double boiler over warm water on low heat.  Let cook until
 almost completely melted and then stir until smooth.  Remove from the
 double boiler and set aside. 
 
 Scald 1/2 c of the cream over medium heat.  When a skin forms on top of
 the cream, strain or sift in the cocoa and espresso powder.  Whisk until
 smooth and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly
 thickened.  Stir in the rum and the remaining cream and set aside. 
 
 Beat the cream cheese til it is soft and fluffy, scraping the beaters
 once during the process.  Add the sugar and beat, scraping the bowl
 occasionally, until the mixture is smooth.  Add the chocolate and then
 the cream mixture while beating the mixture on low speed.  Continue
 beating until completely smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Add
 the eggs and beat just til incorporated. 
 
 Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap it in two layers of aluminum
 foil.  Place the pan inside a larger, shallow pan.  Pour the filling
 into the pan and rotate it gently to level the filling.  Place the pan
 in the oven.  Before closing the door, pour 1/2 to 1 inch of water into
 the larger pan. 
 
 Bake the cheesecake for one hour (the cake will not be set all the way
 but will still move rather liquidly when moved).  Turn off the oven and
 let the cake stand for an hour in the oven with the door open slightly. 
 
 Remove the cake from the oven and remove the springform pan from the
 larger pan.  Remove the foil and let the cheesecake sit until it has
 cooled to room temperature.  Chill the cake, uncovered, overnight before
 cutting it. 
 
 The cheesecake may be glazed with seedless fruit preserves that have
 been melted and then boiled to reduce slightly.  Brush the glaze over
 the top and sides of the cake.  Serve topped with whipped cream. 
 You can use any liquer you want in this recipe, just adjust the amount
 added according to how strong the flavor of the liquor is (I've even
 made this with Boggs cranberry liquer).  I generally leave out the
 espresso powder as the flavor of the liquer and the chocolate go well by
 themselves.  You may also want to leave out the alcohol and just use
 espresso powder to flavor it, if you do so, increase the amount of cream
 added to compensate for the reduction in liquid. 
 
 When the recipe says to beat the cream cheese til light and fluffy,
 you'd better believe it means it, the longer you beat the cream cheese
 mixture, the creamier the cake will be. 
 
 I generally do not use a glaze or whipped cream on this as I find the
 complex flavours of the ingredients stand for themselves.  You can also
 leave out the chocolate that is poured on the crust though I usually do
 it as it adds a nice dimension and keeps the crust more crisp. 
 
 As a final warning, if properly baked, this cheesecake literally cannot
 be cut the same day it is made.  It must set up in the refrigerator
 overnight or it will be a sloppy mess.