This chocolate cheesecake recipe is rich enough to satisfy even the most dedicated chocoholics. The ganache topping covers any baking imperfections. Cheesecakes are basically custards and must, therefore, be baked in a Bain Maire [water bath] to keep the batter from curdling. Making the chocolate cheesecake crust separately and adding it to the cake after it is baked ensures that the crust will not suffer from overbaking. It’s best to let the cake chill overnight.
FOR THE CRUST
- 7 ounces shelled pistachios [from about 1 pound in shell], toasted [see Note] and finally chopped, plus extra for garnish [optional]
- 1/2 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick [4 ounces] unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CAKE
- 8 ounces bittersweet chopped chocolate,
- 26 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 11/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt as per taste
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE GANACHE TOPPING
- 4 ounces bittersweet chopped chocolate
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a large bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt until the mixture is creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add the cream and the vanilla extract. With the mixture running still on low speed, gradually add the melted chocolate and mix until completely incorporated. Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth the top of the cake with a spatula. Place the springform in the roasting pan. Transfer to the middle oven rack and pour the boiled water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the top, is just set. The cake should jiggle slightly when the pan from the oven and place the cake on a wire rack until cool. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight in the pan.
FOR THE GANACHE TOPPING:
Place the bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Remove the cake circle of and chocolate cheesecake from the refrigerator, discarding the foil. Loosen the chocolate cheesecake by carefully running a warm, dry knife around the inside edge of the springform pan. Unhinge the side of the pan and remove. With the springform pan bottom still under the cheesecake, invert the cake circle into the top of the cheesecake. Undo the plastic wrap, remove the cake circle and carefully peel off the wrap while gently pressing the crust into the cheesecake. Place a serving plate cake circle on top of the crust, then invert the cheesecake top. pour the ganache on the cheesecake and spread to cover the top. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired. Refrigerate for several hours or better yet, overnight.
For more on Cooking at Home click here.
By: Jeena Hakeem