With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought a dessert showcasing none other than CHOCOLATE would be fitting. This Chocolate Cheesecake is not only incredibly delicious but believe it or not, easy to make.
Sometimes I make a devils food cake for the base of the cake vs the traditional wafer crust. But this time, I used Oreo Crumbs to save time and who doesn't like Oreo's??
Some tips I've learned a long the way when baking cheesecakes.
1. While baking your cheesecake inside the water bath, do not wrap the pan in foil. Although most recipes call for this, the best method I have found in avoiding water from getting into your cheesecake is to use an oven bag. Yes! The same oven bag for those of you who bake your turkey in during Thanksgiving. It's leak proof and so much more efficient than using foil. Just make sure to adjust the bag so it doesn't cover the top of the cheesecake.
2. Let your cheesecake chill inside the oven after baking with the oven turned off and the door slightly open. I usually set a timer for 1 hour and let my cheesecake cool inside the oven. This slow cooling process prevents the cheesecake from cracking. Afterwards, I chill my cheesecake overnight before decorating or serving.
You can serve this chocolate cheesecake with fresh berries, chocolate ganache for you chocolate lovers, or you can do what I did. Take some ripe strawberries and dip them in some good quality melted chocolate.
Yield: 1 9-inch spring from pan
2 Cups Oreo Crumbs (ground fine in a food processor)
5 Tbsp unsalted melted butter
9 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Callebaut L6040 which has a very intense chocolate flavor, but any good quality chocolate could be substituted)
2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 Cups plus 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder (Cacao Barry 100% Extra Brute is my go to for baking)
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
4 large eggs, room temp
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
2. To make crust, grind Oreo cookies inside a food processor until fine. Measure out 2 Cups of crumbs. Add melted butter and mix until incorporated.
3. Add the crumbs to a 9 inch spring form pan. With the bottom of a measuring cup, evenly distribute the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan.
4. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool at room temperature before adding cheesecake mixture.
1. Place chocolate inside a metal or glass bowl over a double boiler. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted. Remove chocolate and set aside.
2. Place softened cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla bean paste inside food processor. Mix until mixture is smooth, making sure to scrape down sides. Add the eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate and mix until evenly incorporated and silky smooth.
3. Pour into prepared spring form pan and place pan inside oven bag. Roll the bag down so that it doesn't cover the top of the cheesecake.
4. Place the spring form pan onto a baking sheet. Place inside oven and begin to fill baking sheet with hot water, about 1/3 of the way up the spring from pan.
5. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. The cheesecake is done when the center wobbles a little when you jiggle the pan. But the edges of the cheesecake will look firmer than the center. Do not over bake or else the cheesecake will begin to crack.
6. Turn oven off and slightly crack the oven door open and allow the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour.
7. Remove cheesecake from oven and oven bag. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate overnight.
8. To remove the cheesecake from the pan, I usually use a blow torch to heat and loosen the sides. While I know most home cooks do not have a blow torch, you can easily remove the spring from ring by heating a sharp knife inside some hot water and running it along the edge of the pan.
9. Decorate with desired toppings.
10. Enjoy the fruits of your labor :)