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Extreme Chocolate Cheesecake

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Serves ten to twelve.

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 104

You can't get more chocolate than this cheesecake: a chocolate-wafer crust, melted dark chocolate in the filling, and chocolate shards scattered over the top. Create your own customized cheesecake recipe with our Recipe Maker.

For the crust:
  • 8 oz. chocolate wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 10 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Chocolate shards or curls, for garnish
Make the crust:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the chocolate wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

Fill and bake the cheesecake:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, melted dark chocolate, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).

Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Garnish with chocolate shards and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

Make Ahead Tips

To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 610; Fat (g): 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 350; Saturated Fat (g): 22; Protein (g): 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 61; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 380; Cholesterol (mg): 155; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Thomas Allen

Fantasic, would highly recommend. made ahead and froze for New Years Day lunch and went down very well. Docorated with white chocolate shavings and a little edible gold glitter. My oreo biscuit shell collapsed slightly upon baking, i think i added too much butter, however i managed to push it back up so looked and tasted fine.

Very good, very easy. I could not find chocolate wafers so I use chocolate graham crackers for crust. It was delicious.

Absolutely amazing! Never had so many people request the recipe! I variated from the crust with my own preferred cookie base and added a bit more chocolate. Comes out slightly closer to a mousse-like finish than the traditional thick and heavy new-york style....leaves room for another slice!

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