chocolate cheesecake 1

Chocolate Cheesecake

A wedge of chocolate cheesecake falls out of my freezer whenever I open the door, so today I ate it.

Last night Lou got skunked, at 1 in the morning no less, and today we ripped out the corner of our living room ceiling in search of the source of an unexpected indoor rainfall on the weekend. When the house (and everything in it) smells like skunk and you find yourself doing impromptu home renos, something’s gotta give.

It was leftover from Christmas, and still completely divine. Cheesecake freezes beautifully, if you’re ever in need of something to make ahead. This is a recipe my youngest sister (not the one across the street) makes for special occasions, like Christmas… it’s that recipe no one will let her stop making. She piles it with fresh berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – and it’s perfect all the time. Even when it falls out of the freezer 6 months later and lands on my toe. (A clear request to be eaten – it was calling out for help.)

If memory serves (and it doesn’t always) she said it was from Gourmet or Bon Appétit, but looks very much like a chocolate cheesecake I made regularly as a teenager/twentysomething and had a short-lived cake company that delivered birthday cakes to offices, with sparklers or cards for an extra dollar. Blocking that venture from my memory, I forgot how good chocolate cheesecake was.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 9 oz (ish) bar Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
4 8 oz. (250 g) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
4 large eggs

3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar

Fresh berries, to pile on top

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; add sugar and melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes, just until set. Cool while mixing the filling.

To make the filling, melt the chocolate over a double boiler; set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder; beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool for a few minutes, then run a thin knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

To make the topping: Stir cream, chocolate, and sugar in medium saucepan over medium 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. Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated, or freeze for up to 6 months (or longer).

Serves 16 or more.


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14 comments on “Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Melissa | Being a Bear
    July 17, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Wow, that looks unbelievable! And deathly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :)

  2. Teri
    July 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

    O.M.G…this made me speak aloud when I saw it. Looks amazing Julie!

    I wrote to M about a never fail skunk remedy on FB…check it out if you are still having problems with stinky Lou! :)

  3. mmac
    July 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

    A piece? If I had a skunked dog and a decaying ceiling and post-Stampede-cellular-level-fatigue I’d be eating an entire cheesecake, not just a piece.

  4. Irm
    July 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Oh Julie, sounds to me like you definitely deserved the cheesecake!!! Hope Lou smells better soon and you find the source of the leak!!
    Made the deep dark chocolate zucchini cake last night….mmmmmm… ever!!

  5. Teri
    July 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    See, that cheesecake was even more wonderful than you remembered. It knew you needed a pick-me-up, so it offered itself.

    Hope everything is better now!

  6. jeri
    July 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I always freeze individual portions whenever I make (or buy) a cheesecake. Not only does it keep you from eating the whole thing, you always have a snack. The best part is it only takes a few minutes to defrost. I am definitely going to make this one when the heatwave stops.

    And poor baby on the skunk thing. I drove an ice cream truck in college…the old fashioned kind with no windows, and one day I hit a skunk. THIRTY MILES out from the home base. The longest drive ever. It took more than cheesecake to get over that.

  7. Stephanie
    July 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I read the title and thought to myself “I’m not really a cheese cake or a chocolate person” then I saw the photo and changed my mind.. it looks divine.

    I can sympathize with the skunking, I’ve had to give many bath to my cat who apparently doesn’t learn to leave skunks alone.

  8. Linda
    July 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Oh Julie, I feel for you because I’ve been there… last summer I let my dog out who needed to barf around the same time and silently congratulated myself on sleeping lightly enough to hear her and avoiding a messy clean-up. After my dog… um… “finished,” she turned around only to face a skunk who was hiding just on the other side of the door, getting thoroughly sprayed. Nothing like a skunk bath at 2 a.m.! Some frozen cheesecake would have been a lovely cold comfort.

  9. Laurel
    July 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Wow, that looks amazing! I have tried a couple recipes and so far I have been disappointed. I will have to try yours next time!

  10. Aga
    July 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    This was so delicious. When I saw the picture, it made me sigh, and I knew I had to make it for my birthday (yesterday). Everyone loved it. It turned out rich and creamy, even though I tried my best to lighten it up by using light cream cheese (guess lightening it up is pretty relative when the recipe calls for a kilo of cream cheese and a pound of chocolate!).

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