Friday, December 30, 2011

For New Year's Eve: Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

This recipe for chocolate cheesecake is adapted from one I found on, with a few changes.  It's a "deep, dark" chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crumb crust and a layer of chocolate ganache as its crowning glory.  (The English major in me knows it's wrong to use the word "chocolate" three times in one sentence, but I can't help it!)  Their version suggests the use of 70% chocolate and expensive cocoa, but you can have fantastic results with Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate as well as Hershey's cocoa.  It's so deeply, darkly chocolate that a small sliver will do.  Make it ahead and take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before serving to maximize the flavor experience.  I'm making it tonight!

Oven 350 degrees F

24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package), crushed into fine crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
4 large eggs

3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. On lowest oven rack, place a baking pan filled with hot water.  This will act as an indirect water bath and will help to minimize cracking.  Cheesecake will bake on center oven rack.

Butter 9-inch springform pan. Mix cookie crumbs with butter and press crumbs evenly onto bottom only of prepared pan. Freeze for 10 minutes while preparing filling. 

Melt chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted. Don't let water hit bottom of bowl.   Take off heat and cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. 

In large mixer bowl, bllend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Add  lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. 

On center oven rack, bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Turn oven off and prop door open.  Let cheesecake remain in oven for an hour.  Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill completely before adding ganache topping.

Ganache topping:
Stir cream,  and 3/4 cups chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge.. Chill at least1 hour.  Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter.  Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before slicing.

Photo credit:'s Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

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