The one point that I happen to be very particular about, though, is that it has to taste fabulous, baked or not.
- Yield: 9-inch cheesecake
- Prep Time: 4 hours 25 mins (includes chilling time)
- 7 ounces (about 2 cups) chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (see note)
For the crust, combine the chocolate graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a small bowl until the mixture looks sandy and wet. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides, about an inch, of a 9-inch springform pan or into a 9.5-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while making the filling.
For the filling, in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat again for a minute or so until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix.
Add the melted chocolate (make sure it is cool to room temperature!) and whip for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy (this step is key to a creamy, light cheesecake filling).
Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or up to 12 hours) until chilled and set.[post_ads_2]
For clean slices, run a long thin knife under really hot water and wipe dry with a towel before slicing (repeat the hot water trick between each slice).
I tried this cheesecake with light (neufchâtel) cream cheese and…it doesn’t compare to using regular cream cheese. The texture was way softer and the taste was almost a bit too tangy and not quite as rich. Experiment at your own risk.
I use bittersweet chocolate in this recipe but semisweet could be used also. You might consider knocking the powdered sugar down just a notch if you do since semisweet chocolate is sweeter than bittersweet.
I think there’s a bit too much crust/filling for a regular 9-inch pie plate unless you reserve some of each and make a couple small, individual sized cheesecakes in little bowls or ramekins. But again, I haven’t tried it that way so feel free to experiment.