Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

December 21, 2010

I love cheesecake. I love making it and I love eating it. One of the great things about cheesecake is that it is deceptively easy to make, yet somehow everyone always assumes that you have slaved over it.  I have made this cheesecake no less than a dozen times and it is a hit every time. It is creamy, rich and decadent. And oh so very chocolaty. Another perk of this cheesecake is that it doesn’t matter if it cracks. Honestly, cheesecake cracks don’t really bug me that much but if you find them bothersome then you’ll be happy to know that a heavenly ganache covers any imperfections. I made a quick raspberry sauce for this one but you could use any berry, which is not to say that this cheesecake needs any adornment. It is excellent all on its own. This would be a lovely dessert to serve your family this Christmas. They will love you forever. And they will want you to bring cheesecake every year.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust:

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

Filling:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
  • 4 large eggs

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

For topping:
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour.

Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

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

Serving options: I made a raspberry sauce which is super simple, though I don’t have a recipe for you. I just dump some frozen raspberries (however many you’ll think you need) and a bit of sugar in a saucepan and simmer until reduced to a nice sauce. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, easy!

Chocolate curls and/or whipped cream would also be another decadent option.

recipe adapted from Epicurious

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Yum December 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm

It’s a pity my oven doesn’t work perfectly because that looks delicious. I shouldn’t be teasing myself with dreams of cheesecakes.

Lauren December 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

I now want… no, NEED a slice of this cheesecake! Gorgeous photos, and delectable recipe :) .

Becky December 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

Lauren – it is most definitely NEED! Make it, you won’t regret it:-)
Also, your cranberry apple butter looks divine….

Ela December 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Gorgeous cheesecake! I’m sure it’s delicious too. I’ve never made a cheesecake before, do I use the chocolate wafer with cream? If so, do I scrape off the cream and only use the chocolate wafer? Thanks.

Becky December 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

Hi Ela!
Usually I use something plain such as chocolate graham crackers or chocolate teddy grahams. I have used cream filled chocolate cookies too though. They have worked fine for me. If I use cream filled I just throw the whole works in food processor and omit the butter. Sometimes I cut back on the sugar too…they are pretty sweet as it is. Let me know how it works for you!

Megan December 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm

So I made this recipe for Christmas Day…..I love to bake but have never attempted a cheesecake until now. This was SO easy to make and the best Cheesecake I have ever had. I didn’t use the raspberries because I had strawberries but either or would equally be delicious. My mom said this could be my signature dessert! I am so happy that I came across this recipe. I am going to make it going forward for many parties or get togethers. The only problem I had was that my top cracked. I figure as I make it more often I will get better but the taste is incredible. Thank you thank you thank you so much Becky for this recipe. You made me the show stopper this year at Christmas :)

Becky December 29, 2010 at 7:35 am

Megan — your sweet comment made my day! I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed the cheesecake. I have always loved this cheesecake and it is wonderful to hear about others having such success with it too!

Sophia December 29, 2010 at 9:25 am

Yum!! I love the idea of combining dark chocolate with a cheesecake! This looks divine! You should consider entering it into Recipe4Living’s 5th Birthday Recipe Contest! The site is turning 5 years old, and we’re giving away a Scharffen Berger gift basket to the top birthday cake that’s submitted!

Evan Thomas December 31, 2010 at 3:17 pm

This sounds delicious! I love the presentation with the raspberry sauce. Dark chocolate and raspberry is an excellent flavor combination, and you can convince yourself since it has fruit it must be healthy :-)

P February 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

Blend cookies in processor until finely ground–> can i use the electric mixer on ‘blending it in a processor’ or a blender? Im confused. i really want to try this recipe. Pls answer. thanks. :)

Becky February 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

P – you will love this recipe! A food processor is just the quickest way to go about making crumbs but you can use definitely another method. You can put the cookies in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to pound them into crumbs. You won’t have perfectly ground crumbs but it would still be just as delicious. I would double bag so you don’t end up with holes in the bag. An electric mixer/blender would not work very well in this case. Tip: Before I had my “big” food processor I used something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Proctor-Silex-72500RY-2-Cup-Chopper/dp/B00006IUX0/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1296664350&sr=8-11 They are small and inexpensive but they work very well…though you do usually have to process in batches. I hope that helps! This cheesecake is so good, I hope you’re able to make it. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Sara May 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm

If you drop the oven temp to 325* and just add ten minutes or so, you can usually avoid the cracks at the top. Also only blend in the eggs at a slow speed. I can’t wait to try this recipe though I may slide some raspberry preserves in over the chocolate crust before pouring in the filling. I make cheesecake quite a bit and am looking forward to a new recipe. Tonight will be this one and a peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate ganache top. Thanks for the recipe.

Jenny February 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I love chocolate cheesecake! This looks so good! I featured it in a Valentine’s Day dessert collection!

http://daysofchalkandchocolate.blogspot.com/2012/02/17-valentines-day-desserts.html

Becky February 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Jenny! That pink diamond ring looks pretty darn amazing:-)

Jane Klementti December 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

This cheesecake looks amazing! I’ve been looking for the right one to make for Christmas dinner – can’t wait. Happy Holidays!

Helen February 22, 2014 at 6:22 pm

My son asked for a chocolate raspberry cheesecake for his birthday cake, and I found your recipe. I made it today, and it came out perfectly! It is so good, a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Did I mention it is SO good?! Thank you for sharing, this is a keeper.

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