Note: This cheesecake needs to be chilled overnight so plan ahead! The good news is this cheesecake can be made all the way through the topping, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.
- 9-ounce package of chocolate cookies (such as chocolate wafers, graham crackers or teddy grahams)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use the best quality you can afford – I love the Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips and I’m not ashamed to admit I buy them in bulk, often, at Sam’s Club)
- 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 semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Chocolate curls for garnish (I use the method outlined further below)
- For crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides (or use a 10-inch springform pan with 2-inch sides). Process the chocolate cookies in a food processor (or the old-fashioned way with a bag and a rolling pin) until they are finely ground. Transfer them to a small bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom only of the prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Keep the oven heated at 350 degrees.
- For filling: Melt the 10 ounces of chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler until melted and smooth. Cool the chocolate until lukewarm but ensure that it is still warm enough to be pourable. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust; smooth the top. Bake until the center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- For topping: One hour before serving (or up to 3 days ahead of time), stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until the topping is set, about 1 hour.
- When ready to serve, release the springform pan sides. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Top with chocolate curls. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.
Have you ever made chocolate curls? NO? Oh, okay. That’s cool. You’re among friends here. Whoever spread that rumor that possessing the ability to make chocolate curls is the secret to happiness should be flogged in the public square. You don’t HAVE to know how to make chocolate curls in order to be happy. But just in case…why not learn now? They’re fun,fanciful, pretty darn easy, and let’s face it: they’ll make you look reeeeeal cool. And THAT, my friends, is the secret to happiness.
Grab some Crisco and some semi-sweet baking chocolate. (Any brand will do, and you can even use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you’d like!)
Place three ounces (usually three squares) of chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl.
Now place one tablespoon of Crisco (vegetable shortening) into the bowl.
Now throw it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, or until the shortening is melted and hot.
With a fork…
Stir to combine thoroughly.
And there you have it—chocolate curls!
Just kidding. I just love doing that, though.
Now, grab a metal cookie sheet, turn it upside down, and pour the melted chocolate on.
Then, with a flat spatula (or heck, a knife), spread the chocolate in a thin layer…
Keep going until it’s very, very thin. Then…and this is the key…stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.
Now, this is after one minute in the freezer. I gave the chocolate the ol’ fingerprint test, and it failed miserably. It’s still way too soft to make the curls. So I put it back in for exactly two minutes.
Be sure to give it the ol’ fingerprint test. And when it’s ready, it should leave the slightest mark, but not an actual depression.
Next, get a somewhat sharp-edged spatula and begin to scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. When the chocolate is just the right temperature, it’ll curl instead of break.
See, right now it’s still just a tad too cold/hard. So I waited one minute and tried again.
And guess what? It’s just right.
Now you have a couple of minutes before the chocolate gets too soft.
So just scrape along the bottom of the pan…
…And the chocolate will curl right up. If it’s too hard, give it a minute, then try again. If it gets too soft, stick it back in the freezer for a minute.
Pretty soon you’ll have a bunch of fun little chocolate curls.
And I have no idea how this one happened, but I think it’s kinda neat. And I totally meant to do it.
Important: as soon as possible, transfer the curls to a cold pan or plate, then stick them in the freezer to harden. Store in the freezer in a Ziploc bag until you need them. Use them to adorn pies, cakes, or platters of fruit. You’ll feel instantly fancy!
Source *This PW How-To was extracted from this previously-posted Delicious Chocolate Pie recipe.