A wedge of chocolate cheesecake falls out of my freezer whenever I open the door, so today I ate it.
Last night Lou got skunked, at 1 in the morning no less, and today we ripped out the corner of our living room ceiling in search of the source of an unexpected indoor rainfall on the weekend. When the house (and everything in it) smells like skunk and you find yourself doing impromptu home renos, something’s gotta give.
It was leftover from Christmas, and still completely divine. Cheesecake freezes beautifully, if you’re ever in need of something to make ahead. This is a recipe my youngest sister (not the one across the street) makes for special occasions, like Christmas… it’s that recipe no one will let her stop making. She piles it with fresh berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – and it’s perfect all the time. Even when it falls out of the freezer 6 months later and lands on my toe. (A clear request to be eaten – it was calling out for help.)
If memory serves (and it doesn’t always) she said it was from Gourmet or Bon Appétit, but looks very much like a chocolate cheesecake I made regularly as a teenager/twentysomething and had a short-lived cake company that delivered birthday cakes to offices, with sparklers or cards for an extra dollar. Blocking that venture from my memory, I forgot how good chocolate cheesecake was.
Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 9 oz (ish) bar Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
4 8 oz. (250 g) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
4 large eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar
Fresh berries, to pile on top
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; add sugar and melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes, just until set. Cool while mixing the filling.
To make the filling, melt the chocolate over a double boiler; set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder; beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool for a few minutes, then run a thin knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.
To make the topping: Stir cream, chocolate, and sugar in medium saucepan over medium 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, or freeze for up to 6 months (or longer).
Serves 16 or more.