Cheesecake is probably one of Michael's all-time favorite desserts. Considering I'm not the hugest fan (crazy, I know), I've never made it before. This year for Michael's bday, I decided to surprise him (being the wonderful wife I am) and give it a shot. This required the purchase of a springform pan. Surprisingly, it wasn't the springform pan that ruined the surprise, but the 4 boxes of cream cheese glaring out from the fridge. Surprise or no surprise, Michael was still pretty pumped. I will warn you, if you want to give it a shot, read all the way through and plan ahead. I split the process over two days. End result? Ah-mazing!
Modified from Bon Appetit.
- 24 chocolate wafer cookies (I used graham crackers b/c I couldn't find wafer cookies. This made it a little more crumbly than it probably should've been)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1 9.7-ounce bar 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 6 ounces 70% bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (you can use sweeter chocolate if you'd like)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Chocolate curls (I just used a vegetable peeler to peel off sprinkles of dark chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides.
- Blend wafer cookies in a food processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended.
- Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.
- Prepare a double boiler: fill a medium saucepan about 1/3 full with water and bring to a boil. Set a smaller saucepan inside. Add chopped chocolate in the small saucepan and stir until melted and smooth.
- Remove bowl from water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable.
- Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in a food processor until smooth.
- Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate.
- Pour filling over crust; smooth top.
- Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.
- Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low 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.
- Release pan sides from cheesecake. Transfer cheesecake to a platter. Top with chocolate curls.
- Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.