Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients for the crust:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup finely ground chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreo or Hydrox brands, preferred), chocolate cookie part only, no white filling
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 T sugar

* * * * * * *

Ingredients for the filling:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (1 1/2-ounce) milk chocolate bar

Preparing the cheesecake:
Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the crust ingredients with a fork and mix until well combined. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust until fragrant and just set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before adding the filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Place semisweet chocolate in a microwave-proof glass bowl or measuring cup and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave the chocolate on high power for 30 seconds; then stir it with a spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to microwave the chocolate on high, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until it is completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, use the double-boiler method for melting chocolate. Set aside.

Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large metal bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift the cocoa powder into the cream cheese mixture and beat to incorporate.

Crack and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream and melted chocolate and beat until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared pan with the baked crust.

Bake at 350 degrees F until the cake rises and puffs and the center is just set and still slightly wiggly, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Grate the chocolate bar and sprinkle the shavings over the top of the cheesecake while it's still hot.

Let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve the cheesecake, run a thin sharp knife around the inside edge of the springform pan to loosen the cake's sides, then unhook remove the outer ring of the pan. Serve with whipped cream

Serves 12


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