Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

Thick, rich and dangerously decadent. If you’re looking for the perfect chocolate cheesecake, look no further! This dessert is a show stopper!

 I feel like many people fall into two categories: chocolate dessert lovers or fruit dessert lovers!! With a chocolate crust, filling and shaved chocolate on top, this cheesecake is for all my chocolate lovers! For all my fruit lovers check out my key lime cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake crumb cake, or no-bake strawberry topped cheesecake! Or you can be like me and love both chocolate and fruit desserts! 

 

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Who loves cheesecake?

Cookies are my jam, but cheesecake is my obsession! I’ve been wanting to take my Perfect New York Cheesecake recipe and transform it into a chocolate version for almost a year now. I finally got around to it a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the results! It’s decadent, rich and ultra-thick. It truly is a chocolate lover’s dream!

If you’ve never made cheesecake before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not as scary as you think. I’ve included lots of tips and tricks in the recipe below to help guide you through the process and ultimately bake the perfect chocolate cheesecake! Be patient, re-read the steps (follow the directions), and take a deep breath. It’ll look flawless and taste amazing, I promise!!

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

How to Make Chocolate Cheesecake

The most difficult part about this recipe is waiting. Waiting for ingredients to be at room temperature, waiting for it to rest in the oven, and waiting for it to chill in the refrigerator. Trust me, the wait is well worth it!

Prep the Pan:

  • Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra-large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in during the water bath. Wrap it with two-layers for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan.
  • Or you can skip the foil wrap if you have a slightly larger cake pan than your springform pan. You can place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10″) that has 2″ sides.

The Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in the lower third of the oven.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground Oreo crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  • Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

The Filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  • With mixing speed on low, gradually add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Turn the mixing speed back up to high and beat for an additional minute.
  • Switch the mixing speed back to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated.
  • In a small bowl dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla extract. With mixing speed on low, add the vanilla/espresso mixture, then beat on high for 1 minute.

Water Bath:

  • Place the prepared springform pan (either foil covered or springform inside the larger cake pan) into a large high-sided roasting pan.
  • Pour the filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
  • Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You’ll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2″ tall cake pan).
  • Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour 45 minutes.

Let it Cool:

  • After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan.
  • Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooling rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil).
  • During the chilling process, the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving. If it seems to be a little stuck you can warm a knife with hot water and gently and slowly move it around the pan to loosen the cheesecake.
  • Top with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings or curls, fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.

 

 

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

FAQs

What if I don’t have a springform pan? You can use a regular cake pan. Just line it with parchment paper so that the cheesecake won’t stick to the bottom!

What does the water bath do? The point of a water bath is to make sure that the cheesecake gets cooked through without browning the top of it. The water surrounding the cheesecake can get to 212 degrees and cook the cheesecake instead of using the normal oven functions to bake it.

Why does the cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream and eggs need to be at room temperature? This allows the ingredients to blend together better which results in a smoother cheesecake. 

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

How to Change Up + Store Chocolate Cheesecake

Toppings: You can top it with just about anything to make it suit your personal tastes. Think mint, orange, caramel etc. Or you can go the simple route and pipe some freshly whipped cream on top, and some chocolate curls, a raspberry and a sprig of mint. No matter how you garnish it, it’s sure to be a hit!

Storing: First off, cheesecakes must be refrigerated! You can leave a cheesecake out for 2-4 hours, but it is not recommended to store them on your countertop. A freshly baked cheesecake can last in your refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure to cover it loosely with aluminum foil. 

If you have leftovers, you can always freeze them! Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer-safe container/bag. Cheesecake is good for about 3 months in the freezer. 

When you are ready to eat, place frozen cheesecake in your refrigerator to thaw out (usually 7-8 hours).

 

This 9-inch cheesecake is perfect for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, or office parties! The only problem is you won’t have any leftovers!! 

Chocolatey desserts from Life Made Simple

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

Thick, rich and dangerously decadent. If you’re looking for the perfect chocolate cheesecake, look no further! This dessert is a show stopper!

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 c. crushed Oreos (cream removed)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 2 lbs. or (4) 8 oz. blocks plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cool
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. espresso powder (optional)

For the toppings:

  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings or curls
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Sprigs of mint

Directions:

  1. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in (it’s worth a trip to the store to buy the 18″ wide foil). Wrap it with two layer for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan. You can also place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10″) that has 2″ sides (I ran out of big foil but had a nice cake pan that it just barely fit into. I didn’t have to worry at all about the foil keeping water out).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in lower third of oven. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground Oreo crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  3. Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). Carefully work the crumbs up the sides so that they are 1½” tall and approximately ¼” thick. You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt. Turn mixing speed back up to high and beat for an additional minute. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. In a small bowl dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla extract. With mixing speed on low, add the vanilla/espresso mixture, then beat on high for 1 minute.
  5. Place the prepared springform pan into a large high-sided roasting pan. Pour the filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You’ll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2″ tall cake pan). Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour 45 minutes.
  6. After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 30 minutes. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming.
  7. Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooking rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil).
  8. During the chilling process the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving. Top with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings or curls, fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.
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