January 29, 2012

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

I was in Chicago recently visiting my best friend, her husband and their new baby girl. Her husband's birthday just happened to occur during my visit, so I decided to make dessert for his birthday since they don't really have time to go out right now, with a 2 month old daughter and all. Victor is from France so I wanted to make a dessert that was rich and indulgent.... this was the perfect fit for that. This cheesecake is insanely rich and chocolatey. Perfect for a romantic dinner with your Valentine! Enjoy!!

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake


24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package) (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1 9.7-ounce bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa 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 (preferably Scharffen Berger)
4 large eggs

3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
1 tablespoon sugar

Bittersweet chocolate curls

*If unavailable, substitute another high-quality bittersweet chocolate. (I used Lindt 70% Cocoa, found in the candy aisle of the grocery store)


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. (I didn't have that long so I put it in the freezer for about 4 hours, until it was cold).

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, and tilt the cheesecake to spread within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

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