Monday, October 09, 2006
Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Cheesecake
Growing up, I was never a fan of cheesecake. I believe this stems from one bad cheesecake experience where the cheesecake was so dry it crumbled in my mouth. I'm a sensitive mouth feel kind of chick, so crumbling cheese-y sweet didn't go so well for me. Never fear though, for I have gotten over my dislike of cheesecake upon discovery of the creamy version. The creamy version is lovely. It melts in the mouth instead of crumbling. It is dense and rich and wickedly good.
You definitely want to use a nice high quality chocolate here, as it really is the stand out flavor. I have written semi-sweet in the recipe, but I do find I enjoy this very much with a bittersweet chocolate, as higher cocoa content = happier barmy baker.
Feel free to tinker with the crust. I like the chocolate pecan crust I used on this yesterday, but it certainly would be fabulous with other nut variations or even a chocolate mint cookie crust would be great, unless you add mint to the cheesecake itself....anyway, on to the recipe!
Chocolate crust for cheesecake:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (store bought are fine, I did make some chocolate cookies and used them...so homemade also work well)
1/2 cup pecans, ground in food processor
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
-Butter or spray a 9" springform pan, and cover the outside up the sides with aluminum foil (this will prevent any of the waterbath from seeping into your cheesecake and ruining your crust).
-Crush chocolate cookies in food processor or open box of cookie crumbs and use them.
-Mix sugar and cookie crumbs together, pour in melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
-Press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Set aside.
Now, before I give you the cheesecake recipe, I want to say that this can be mixed with a stand mixer, or with a food processor. I have never used a food processor for cheesecake until yesterday...and I believe I will be using a food processor for cheesecake from here on out (at least for the creamy kind). It worked wonderfully and made for a very smooth concoction.
Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake:
1 1/2 pounds of cream cheese (3 8 ounce packages) at room temperature
1 cup sugar
12 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
8 ounces of sour cream, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste (I used the paste, but that's cause I'm a sucker for the little vanilla specks)
-Preheat the oven to 325f
-In a mixer fitted with a paddle, or in a food processor fitted with a blade, mix together the cream cheese and the sugar until it is well blended and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary (as my cake teacher would tell us "become one with the cream cheese" meaning, you're probably going to end up with cream cheese all over your hands, but it's ok ).
-Mix the melted chocolate and the sour cream together to form a smooth mixture (make sure the sour cream is room temp, and the chocolate is still warm). Add this to the cream cheese mixture and mix well or pulse in until combined.
-Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix.
-Pour into the prepared springform pan lined with crust.
-Place the springform pan into another pan that is deep enough for a waterbath to come up the sides of the cheesecake, pour water into the pan until it comes up to about 1 1/2 inches below the top of the springform pan. Carefully place in the oven.
-Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour or until the cheesecake appears to jiggle like jell-o when given a gentle shake.
-Carefully remove from the oven (to avoid hot water issues), remove the springform from the bain-marie (waterbath) and allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then chill overnight.
-The next day, unmold your cheesecake, slice and share some decadence! You'll be happy you did.