- 30 pieces chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chocolate infused vodka (such as Godiva)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 10 to 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons chocolate infused vodka (such as Godiva)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the interior of a 10-inch springform pan with a sheet of foil, allowing a portion to hang over the rims. Lightly brush foil lining with additional melted butter. Cover the bottom of pan with two to three sheets of foil. This would prevent the hot water from the water bath to seep into the crust. Set pan aside.
- Place crushed chocolate wafer cookies into the bowl of a food processor. Add sugar and cinnamon. Pulse for 2 to 3 minutes or until finely ground. Pour in vodka and melted butter. Pulse for another 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is well-blended and texture is crumbly. Press crust mixture onto the bottom and about 1-½ to 2 inches up the sides of prepared pan. Set aside or chill crust while making the cheesecake layer.
- Beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in sugar for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in flour until just incorporated. Beat in vanilla, followed by melted chocolate. Continue beating for another 4 to 6 minutes or until mixture is uniformly colored with no pale streaks visible. Add eggs one by one, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after adding each.
- Pour cream cheese mixture carefully over crust and smoothen top. Set springform pan on a rimmed roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with hot or boiling water, until it reaches just below the top of the foil covering the bottom of springform pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until edges are set but center is still wiggly. Tester inserted about 1 to 2 inches from the edges of cake should come out clean. If you see a few moist crumbs clinging to the wooden pick, bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- While cheesecake is baking, place chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Bring cream to a boil in saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat and pour hot cream over chopped chocolate. Stir in light brown sugar. Set aside for 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate and sugar has completely melted. Add vodka and stir until smooth. Allow ganache to cool, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, until thickened. If desired, chill until needed.
- Remove roasting pan and discard any remaining water. Place springform pan on a wire rack and allow cheesecake to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil covering at the bottom of the pan. Pour ganache over cheesecake and allow to cool further to room temperature. Loosely cover top of cake with a clean sheet of foil and chill overnight for best results.
- To serve, remove sides of pan carefully and peel off foil lining. Gently slide cheesecake onto a serving plate, leaving the foil lining onto the pan bottom. If desired, decorate cheesecake with chocolate curls or fresh berries. Cut into wedges before serving.
- Makes 10 to 12 servings.
- If you prefer a non-alcoholic variation to this recipe, replace chocolate infused vodka with fresh lemon or orange juice.
- Ganache can be made a few hours before serving. Instead of topping cheesecake with ganache before chilling, spoon or drizzle warm ganache over individual slices of chilled cheesecake.
- For a fluffy ganache with the consistency of a frosting, whisk ganache once completely cooled to room temperature. This consistency is no longer pourable since it would be very thick. Use and offset spatula to spread the ganache or spoon into a piping bag fitted with your choice of decorative tip for easy application.
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