Key word: Chocolate or Cheesecake?

Or maybe it’s “horses”.  I like that I can post in a not-so-regular fashion, mention chocolate and cheesecake, and get a bunch of hits.  Kids, don’t try this at home.

Chocolate cheesecake in progress

From now on I’m gonna mention those three magic words in all my posts, just for fun, just for the thrill of seeing my stats hop like the Easter bunny.

So I made this cheesecake, brought it to the Italian restaurant where a gang of friends and I drank pink champagne, ate dinner, lit candles, sang the song, ate chocolate cheesecake and moaned with pleasure.

We offered a slice of said cheesecake to the couple sitting nearest our loud and raucous party after they offered to take a group picture for us.  They accepted and said it was delicious.  Then the guy asked who made it and gave me his business card.  Turns out he owns the swank new restaurant in the next town.  He told me he would buy chocolate cheesecakes from me.  That it was light and delicious and he was sure it would be a hit.  Hmmmm….yeah, in my spare time.  Of which I have zero, typically, lately.  Nineteen units and all. 

Delicious and Delightful

So here’s the recipe in case you want to make friends and strangers swoon someday soon…..

This recipe was adapted from a Reader’s Digest cookbook called “Chocolate Sensations”, a cookbook  that my ex-future-in-laws gave me for Christmas a while back.  They’re sweet.

Rose Levy Berenbaum, author of “The Cake Bible”, (a book any serious home baker must own), taught me to bake a cheesecake in a water bath to ensure creaminess from “stem to stern”. 

Be prepared.  This cake is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a couple hours to make it and bake it and cool it.  You should bake it the day before you need it, ’cause it works best if you can refrigerate it overnight before unmolding and decorating.  A true labor of love.

If you want creaminess through and through, use a water bath, which means simply setting the pan of unbaked cheesecake into a larger pan and adding about an inch of very hot water to the outer pan before putting it in the oven to bake.  I recommend using a  3-inch deep, 9-inch diameter, round cake pan, or something similar for the cheesecake.  You can use a springform pan, but you’ve got to wrap the sides and bottom with double layers of heavy duty tin foil if you’re gonna set it in a water bath.  You don’t want the bath water to seep into the cheesecake.  For the water bath I used a 3-inch deep, 12-inch diameter cake pan.  You can use any deep pan for the bath ( a rectangular roasting pan works nicely) as long as it’s bigger than the cheescake pan.

If you don’t do the water bath, you are forgiven.  Just line a deep 9-inch cake pan or springform pan with parchment, and butter the sides.  Leave the parchment hanging over the edges slightly so you’ll have something to grab hold of when it’s time to unmold.

Are you still with me? 

Without further ado,

Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake

Bottom Crust:

1 3/4  cups of chocolate wafer crumbs.  Place the wafers between 2 sheets of parchment and crush with a rolling pin or use a food processor.

7 Tablespoons  melted butter

Mix together and press into bottom of pan.


Three 8-ounce packages of Philadelphia brand cream cheese.

1 1/4  cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream (one 8-ounce container)

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.  I used Valrhona bittersweet.

1/2 cup heavy cream


4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

2 Tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Arrange oven racks so that cheesecake will bake in the center of the oven.

If you’re using a water bath, put some water on to boil.

With an electric mixer,  preferably using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in sugar.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each and scraping the bowl a time or two.  Beat in the vanilla and the sour cream.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces.  Heat the cream just until it’s steaming and little bubbles form around the edge.  Do not walk away while it’s heating 🙂  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth.  Let it cool slightly before adding it to the cheesecake mixture.  You can either mix it in thoroughly or just kinda lightly swirl it in for a two-tone look.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

If you’re using a water bath, place the pan containing the batter into the larger pan, then carefully pour the very hot water into the larger pan, surrounding the smaller pan with about an inch of water.  Using potholders, carefully transfer the whole shebang to the middle rack of the preheated oven.

Bake for 45 minutes, then without opening the oven door, shut off the oven and let the cake remain inside for another hour.  Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for another hour before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight.

The next day, remove the cheesecake from the fridge, warm the bottom of the pan for just a minute by waving it over a hot burner, and then grab the parchment liner on either side and gently lift the cake out of the pan.  You might need a friend to pull the pan away if you don’t have a third hand.  Peel the parchment away from the sides of the cake and use a pancake turner to lift the cake off the parchment and put it onto a serving plate.  

Make the glaze.  Chop the chocolate and put it into a bowl with the melted butter.  Heat the cream,  just to the boiling point.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate/butter.  Stir ’til smooth and add the corn syrup.  Stir again til completely smooth.  Cool ’til thickened enough to spread over the cake, maybe ten minutes.  Spread it over the cake.

Decorate with fresh organic strawberries.  I added a bit of stabilized whipped cream and some fresh mint leaves.


About Zahara

gardener, cyclist, student, mom,
This entry was posted in Amazing Stories, posts with photos, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Key word: Chocolate or Cheesecake?

  1. wow. that was a pleasure. amazing. thank u for sharing that beauty for my dreams tonight!

  2. btw, who doesn’t like the idea of taking a bath w this cake? (did i get that wrong? water. bath. right?)

  3. whatsaysyou says:

    Chocolate cheesecake is go!

  4. afrankangle says:

    LOL … glad I suggested (yesterday) this become a post! Ahhh … that was your plan all along!

    Sounds yummy … and thanks for the recipe. Pleasant surprise to be praised by a restaurant owner! Have a good week.

    • Zahara says:

      Yes, Frank, certain bloggers whose names shall remain unpublished but begin with F and M and S, have made it clear that reading about deliciousness is not enough for them. They need visuals. And recipes. So, here you go. Dig in!

  5. The mint leaves really add the right dash if color to finish or dress up the cake. I can smell it here in Miami.

    • Zahara says:

      Picked the mint from a corner of my backyard. The cake did smell delicious; chocolate, strawberry, and mint. “What are you doing?” my son asked. “I’m smelling the cake”

  6. duckofindeed says:

    Looks quite yummy! I’ll have to give cheesecake another try someday.

  7. Jeez…baking cakes in water baths a day before you need them. I think I’ll print out this recipe and give it to my mom to bake for me. 😉

  8. Whoa – you are a goddess. Thanks for sharing the recipe, but can you just send out a signal next time you are baking it and I’ll jump in my car?

    So cool that you shared your cake and then got such an awesome compliment!!

    • Zahara says:

      WTM, nice to see you again! I will definitely send out the signal. I’ll shoot a light up into the sky like they do for batman.
      I hope your boy is healing up nicely from the skateboard incident.

  9. huffygirl says:

    Wow, you are a master baker to go through all that work, and it turned out beautifully. Maybe cheesecake baker instead of nurse – better hours and less mess?

    I made a cheesecake once – I’m still recovering from it.

    Key words – I saw a blogger once who tagged every post “freshly pressed” – now that’s tacky.

  10. Linda Lewis says:

    My gosh Z, I gained 3 pounds just reading the recipe! You should be encouraged to know that you have the alternative career path of cheesecake maker!

    • Zahara says:

      Tell me about it, I’m still nibbling on the little extra cheesecake I made for our house. I could change the name to “Dangerous Dark Chocolate Cheesecake”.
      I’d be alot more popular as a cheesecake maker ……

  11. You lost me at “takes a couple hours to make.” I don’t have that much patience. =( But it looks tasty!

  12. scrambled7 says:

    Yumm, I want it. I want it ALL. I want it NOW.
    Send me one to India, will you? Pleasssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? *Does the puppy dog eyes* 😛

  13. sounds yummy, Z. The poet in me says: How about adding a few hot chilis into the chocolate? Give your guests a little extra zap to remember Easter by… RT

  14. & by the way, know any recipes for killer Key-lime Pie? RT

  15. ck’ing in on u Z. been a while since u flew through the sky. doin’ ok?

  16. I am wondering as well. I know life can interfere with blogging and vice versa. Things going OK?

  17. hey! where’d u go?! hope u r good. hugs

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