About Chocolate Cheesecake
I’ve been pretty good over the past few weeks, but like with any diet, I like to sprinkle in some rewards.
Not so much that it completely ruins any progress I’ve made, but just enough to celebrate a job well done.
It helps keep my motivation up.
So when I got to thinking about what food I was missing most in my life, you know what I came up with?
Of the chocolate variety.
And unlike most baked goods, I don’t think I’ve ever had made-from-scratch cheesecake before.
That was all the motivation I needed, so I went and bought my first ever springform pan and got to baking!
Since I’d never made cheesecake before, the goal was to pick a fairly basic recipe to start out with.
I made some modifications in the ingredients (swapping out bittersweet chocolate for semisweet, because I like the smoother taste) and changed a few steps in how the ganache was prepared (pro tip: don’t stir ganache right after adding in the chocolate – let it set for 10 minutes, then stir, so the ganache doesn’t end up grainy), but otherwise I stuck pretty close to the recipe.
I wanted to get the classic right before I went all crazy with experimenting (and believe me, there will be more cheesecakes where this came from).
I wanted this to be a learning experience, and like most recipes I’ve made for this website, I was baffled by how easy chocolate cheesecake is to make.
And to think, the Cheesecake Factory has built a whole business around this stuff.
Once I figure out a good copycat recipe for their Godiva Cheesecake I’ll probably never have to leave the house again.
Well, that and getting the perfect recipe for those breadsticks from Olive Garden.
Then I’ll be set.
So there you have it – a super easy recipe for classic chocolate cheesecake that even a beginner like me can make. Because if I can make a cheesecake this good, then I promise you can too!
For the Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place chocolate graham crackers in a zip lock bag, then crush them with a rolling pin or mallet until they are finely ground.
- In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir with a spatula to saturate the graham crackers as much as possible.
- Press the graham crackers into the bottom of a springform pan. Tip: use the bottom of a measuring cup along the edges to get a smooth, even line.
- Place springform pan in the oven and bake the crust for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the springform pan & crust to cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
For the Filling
- Place eggs (still in shell) in a bowl of warm water to bring to room temperature. Set aside.
- Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Whisk chocolate until all the clumps are dissolved and is creamy. If needed, nuke chocolate for another 15 seconds to melt the remaining pieces. Set aside to cool, at least 10 minutes.
- Using a table mixer or hand mixer + large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder on low until combined.
- Keeping mixer speed on low, beat in eggs, one at a time, careful not to overmix.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and beat on low, again careful not to overmix. Tip: periodically turn off the mixer and use a spatula to scrape around the sides and bottom, then beat again.
- Pour the filling in the springform pan. Use a spatula to smooth off the top.
- Place the springform in the middle of a large baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the oven for roughly 1 hour (up to 1 hour & 10 minutes) until the center is set and the top looks as baked as the sides.
- Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the springform pan (to detach cake from the sides).
- Cool cheesecake in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or ideally overnight.
For the Ganache
- In a small sauce pan, bring heavy whipping cream to a boil.
- Add in chocolate and salt, then remove pan from heat. Do not stir yet - this will avoid ganache becoming grainy. Let ganache sit for 10 minutes.
- Whisk ganache until chocolate is smooth and all clumps have melted.
- Pour the ganache over the cheesecake, then set cheesecake back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to set.
- Run a knife around the springform panpan again, then release the clasp.
- Cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.