When my friend's birthday came around recently, I thought about her favourite treats. Dark chocolate and goodies that aren't overly sweet. And I decided that a dark chocolate cheesecake was in order. It is dark, dense, rich and creamy...and super chocolatey, yet not in a super sweet way that hurts your teeth. It's like the best chocolate truffle ever meets cheesecake.
Yes it will absolutely feed a crowd too, as you can't eat too much in one sitting. Well you can, but sharing is caring and a birthday is to be celebrated with friends...so here we go!
Now this recipe can make a lovely tall 9 inch round cake, but I HAD to use my brand new 9.5 inch SQUARE springform pan. So it is slightly shorter but heavy and enormous looking! And with chocolate ganache - both as a layer spread on top plus more of it whipped and piped on top PLUS chocolate shavings...mmm! Yay!
The Oreo crust on the bottom came out just right too with a nice layer of cookie. I ground 35 cookies, including the centres, plus some melted butter. I think the mixture of the less sweet cheesecake filling paired with the sweet crust and sweet ganache makes a nice dark chocolate balance of flavour.
If your desires lean you toward the sweeter side, just substitute the melted chocolate that is poured into the filling. You can use all semisweet or dark. I decided to mix bittersweet and semisweet half and half because I knew the birthday girl would appreciate the deeper flavour.
The first layer of ganache is just a wee layer. Spread over the top. The second one takes a bit longer - a couple of hours set up in the fridge and then whipped with beaters to up the volume and make it lighter and smooth. Perfectly pipeable and so pretty. These I made with a semisweet chocolate so the sweetness would be a nice contrast to the filling and make a perfect bite. Then shave some chocolate or add fresh berries instead to top it off.
This recipe I adapted a bit from Life, Love and Sugar.
I work in a restaurant, so one of my cooks kindly stylized a piece of cake for the birthday girl.
Dark and Delicious Chocolate Cheesecake
35 Oreos (3 cups crumbs)
4 tbsp melted butter
24 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sour cream, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz chocolate - I used 4 oz semisweet plus 4 oz bittersweet, but you can use dark, melted and slightly cooled
4 eggs, room temp
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE FOR PIPING
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Bar (for curls or shavings)...some well-placed fresh berries would be awesome here instead!
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment in the bottom and grease the sides.
Combine crust ingredients in a bowl and press into the bottom of pan and up the sides.
Bake crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Lower oven temperature to 300°F.
Wrap bottom half of springform pan to prepare for water bath.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and cocoa on low speed. The low speed prevents cracks in the cheesecake that occur when too much air is incorporated.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the melted chocolate in 3 parts and mix well.
Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into crust. Place pan in water bath. Add enough warm water to larger pan for it to go part way up the sides of the springform. You don't want any of the water leaking in.
Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the cake inside, so it can cool slowly and finish baking. Then after 30 minutes of the oven being closed, crack the oven door open and leave it in there for another 30 minutes.
Then remove from oven and cool on the counter for a while. Completing the cooling process in the fridge at least 6 to 8 hours - preferably overnight.
To decorate, measure out your chocolate for both the topping and decoration in 2 separate bowls. Heat all the whipping cream together to scalding. Measure the 2 amounts of cream and pour over the chocolate portions. Let sit for a few minutes to soften. Stir til smooth.
Place the larger of the 2 portions into the fridge to set up for a couple hours.
Pour the smaller amount over the top of the cake and smooth.
When remaining chocolate is cool, whip with beaters to create larger volume and pipe on top of cake. Add chocolate shavings, curls, or fresh berries. Or leave as is.