Getting Started - Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

My first conquest for this magnificient food blog will be a Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake. I have a strong love of all things chocolate and cannot imagine anything tastier than a deep dark chocolate cheesecake!

Ingredients for Crust:
24 chocolate wafer cookies (9oz package)
1 tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted

Ingredients for Filling:
1 9.7oz bar of 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (Lindt for my purposes)
4 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

Ingredients for Topping:
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
Bittersweet chocolate curls

Crust - preheat the oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch spring form pan. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and mix until well blended (either all in the food processor or transfer to a bowl and mix with a blender). Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the pan (not sides). Bake until just set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing the filling. Maintain oven temperature.

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

For topping: stir cream, 6oz 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.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.
With the help of my friend Marisha (who's oven is currently working, while mine, alas, is not), I was able to make this delightful treat in the course of an afternoon. Needless to say, it is a bit of a lengthy process with much time spent waiting for things to bake, cool, and bake some more! However, it is well worth the wait.
The crust was incredibly easy to make. We used a food processor to crush the cookies. Then we put the cookie crumbs into a bowl with the sugar and melted butter to mix. I personally prefer mixing by hand as opposed to trying to scrape things out of a food processor, but that may be just me! Once the crumbs starting sticking together in clumps, I dumped them into my greased spring-form pan and squished them down. They baked for five minutes and we moved on to the filling.
I was initially concerned that the amount of dark chocolate would be overwhelming. However, after melting the dark chocolate and mixing it in with the sugar, cream cheese, cocoa powder and eggs, I soon discovered it was perfect! It also filled the mixing bowl to the top with a heavy cream cheese filling. We poured it into the spring-form pan and spread it as evenly as possible with a rubber scraper.
Then the waiting began. After one hour, we checked the cheesecake and it appeared rather strange to us. It looked more like a regular cake with all the cracking on the top. We cooked it for another 10-15 minutes before pulling it out to cool.
I know, I know! More waiting, right? We were a little on the impatient side, so after it was just cool enough to pick up with our hands, we threw it into the fridge and watched a movie. Then, despite the directions recommending waiting overnight (can you imagine?!), after only two hours, we got the topping ready and poured it. When it was just barely set, we tried our first piece of deep dark chocolate cheesecake.

Brace yourselves: this chocolate-y delight is incredible! Although it took hours to prepare, it is an incredibly rich, chocolate satisfying dessert that is well worth the time.
I paired my piece of chocolate cheesecake with a touch of whipped cream (you may notice it on the plate in the photo) and strawberries. I think with my next piece I will have a strawberry daiquiri. Who's with me? :)

Originally posted by Jeanne Thiel Kelley on epicurious


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