My family loves cheesecake. And even though it’s not on my list of favorite desserts, I do make cheesecakes quite often. Using this recipe as a starting point, I’ve made some variations over the years. Sometimes I will use graham crackers or Oreo cookies instead of chocolate wafers for the crust. Adding some brown sugar and/or spices to the crust also works. I’ve also played with different fillings: espresso-chocolate swirl (like the original recipe), vanilla bean, mocha-cinnamon or vanilla-chocolate swirl. I treat my cheesecakes like custards and bake them in a water bath.
Vanilla Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
1 9-oz package chocolate wafer cookies
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
6 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream
Position rack in the center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process using on/off turns until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap outside of pan with 2 or 3 layers of aluminum foil.
Using a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla and butter.
Combine chocolate and whipping cream over a double boiler and stir until chocolate melts. Allow chocolate to cool slightly and then mix in ¾ cup of cheese filling into melted chocolate.
Pour half of remaining cheese filling into prepared crust. Drop half of chocolate mixture by tablespoons around edge of filling, spacing evenly. Use the tip of a small knife to swirl chocolate into cheese filling. Carefully pour remaining cheese filling over. Drop remaining chocolate by tablespoons into center 6 inches of filling, spacing evenly. Swirl mixtures together using tip of knife.
Bake cheesecake in a water bath until edges are slightly golden about 50-60 minutes (center will not be set). Remove cheesecake from water bath and cool on rack. Chill at least 6 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.)
Run small sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Release pan sides. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Tags: DMBLGIT , cheesecake