I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Kat, seriously, what's with the chocolate? Do you want to turn us all into diabetics? Do you have an evil plan to fatten us up like Hansel and Gretl?
No. I love you too much for that.
What's going on is that I'm not going to do a lot of Christmas baking this year but I will be making this unbelievably rich and satisfying cheesecake. I'd send you all a slice if I could but since I can't, the next best thing is to give you the recipe so you can make it yourself.
Henry Thoreau once said, “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” Generally, I feel the same way about recipes that require special equipment or fancy pans. In the case of this recipe, though, I will make an exception. You absolutely must have a springform pan or you’ll end up with a really delicious dessert you have to scrape out of the pan because it’s sticking to the sides and no amount of Pam is going to unstuck it.
If you don’t have a springform pan, it’s worth buying one just to make this cheesecake. (Sometimes you’ll see mini-springform pans and they’re great because you make several little cheesecakes and give one of them away.)
Simple and Delicious Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
This is my go-to recipe when I’m asked to bring a dessert to a holiday party. It is really simple to make and quick as well.
The Cookie Crust
Preheat oven to 350.
1 stick of butter, unsalted
1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
Note: You don’t want to use those crisp little chocolate wafers for the crust. Get a package of soft, fudgy cookies. In fact, you’ll find that the cheaper the cookie, the better. You can use soft-baked, store-bought chocolate chip cookies for the crumbs too.
Melt the butter and combine with the chocolate cookie crumbs.
Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan.
Bake for five minutes. Set the crust aside to cool but do not turn the oven off.
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 12-oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just to the boiling point. (Don’t let it scorch.)
Pour in the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted.
Note: You can use a blender for this—putting the chocolate chips in the blender and then pouring in the hot cream and hitting “blend.” Be careful not to splash the hot cream.
Beat the softened cream cheese (use Neufchatel if you like) and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is completely blended, then add the hot chocolate cream and mix together.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared springform pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center is completely baked. (It may crack in cooking.)
Cool the cheesecake in the pan. Refrigerate overnight.
Note: I once served this at a dinner party when I didn't have time to refrigerate it overnight. I spooned the soft filling into little bowls and called it pudding. No one complained...