One of my signature recipes is dark chocolate cheesecake….it is the height of rich, decadent flavor. Though this recipe is neither French, nor from A Bakery in Paris, it’s probably the sweet treat I make the most often, at the request of my darling husband. When we were dating, I brought this very recipe to his parents’ house as a thank you for hosting us so often. It was just a few short months later that he gave me a cake carrier for Christmas… and not long after that a marriage proposal. I’ll let you make of that what you will 😉 (I have been assured he did not marry me for the fringe cake benefits, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t hurt anything.) Also? I served this as my wedding cake, so it’s basically my good luck charm recipe.
This recipe is easily made gluten free, simply by selecting your favorite GF sandwich cookies (the GF Oreos are great!).
- Springform Pan
- Roasting Pan (any large pan will do)
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies pulverized in food processor
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 14 oz high quality chocolate 72% or darker (roughly 4-3.5 oz bars. Don’t use chocolate chips, they won’t melt properly!) Godiva if you can find it, Ghirardelli is my go-to. This is the ingredient you don’t want to skim on.
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (anything from espresso to instant works here, and have used decaf many times)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (stay tuned on how to make your own!)
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature (full fat is best)
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar (or less! There is a a lot of sweetness in the chocolate and the cookies. The darker the chocolate, the less I’d skimp on the sugar)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Make the crust by mixing the butter and cookie crumbs in a medium bowl and pressing firmly in the bottom of the springform pan with clean fingers. Wrap springform pan in aluminum foil and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave on medium power, being careful not to scorch. Set aside and let cool 5 minutes. Add the salt to the coffee and let dissolve thoroughly.
While the chocolate is cooling, mix the cream cheese in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes.
When chocolate has cooled, add the coffee mixture and vanilla, mix thoroughly and set aside.
Add the sugar to the cream cheese, mixing completely, then add in one egg at a time. until everything is well mixed. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture, and let stir until completely combined. Taking a few passes with a spatula to ensure no white lumps is a good idea.
Add cake batter to prepared springform pan, place in roasting pan, and add a kettle of boiling water to the roasting pan, being careful not to splash the cake. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until the cake doesn’t wobble when shaken–jiggling is normal, but it should appear solid. When baked, turn off the oven, crack the door, and let cool one more hour. This should reduce the number of cracks on the surface (though those little imperfections are easily covered with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and/or berries). Transfer to the fridge to chill, and if wrapped well, can be frozen if you want to make it well in advance. Garnish possibilities are limited only by your imagination and budget, have at it with reckless abandon and my blessing. Store any uneaten cheesecake in the fridge: small pieces go a long way!
Picture: My two-tier chocolate cheesecake wedding cake in progress! Notice the bookish newlyweds with the kitties!