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Rich and creamy Chocolate Cheesecake
The ultimate dessert for chocolate lovers!
I can’t resist eating a slice (or two) of this rich and creamy Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust. The filling is not overly sweet and has the perfect balance of tangy cream cheese and rich and luscious good quality chocolate.
This cheesecake is perfect served as-is but is over-the-top-delicious with a little whipped chocolate ganache piped around the edges. There are many decorative options here so don’t worry if you want to skip this step.
Instead of whipping the ganache you can pour the slightly cooled mixture over the top allowing small drips to fall down the side decoratively.
Or simply add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a few chocolate curls on each slice.
No matter how you choose to decorate this Chocolate Cheesecake be sure to serve it with fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries. It’s the perfect combination!
Overview of ingredients
For the crust
- regular Oreo cookies, not double stuf
- a few tablespoons of powdered sugar
- melted unsalted butter
For the filling
- for the best chocolate flavor use good quality semisweet baking chocolate like Scharffeen Berger or Guittard; not chocolate chips
- whole milk
- a few tablespoons of Dutch-process cocoa powder
- espresso powder (optional)
- granulated sugar
- block cream cheese at room temperature
- large eggs at room temperature
- vanilla extract
- sour cream
For the whipped ganache (optional)
- cold heavy whipping cream
- good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries
For this recipe you’ll need:
- 9-inch springform pan
- large roasting pan to create the hot water bath
- heavy duty aluminum foil – don’t try to piece together smaller sheets of regular foil. It won’t work and your crust will end up wet and soggy.
- electric mixer
Overview: how to make chocolate cheesecake
1. First assemble the ingredients and baking pans then preheat the oven
Invert the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan so the baked and cooked cheesecake can slide off easily onto a serving platter. Lock the sides firmly in place and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Next prepare the Oreo cookie crust
Pour the cookies and powdered sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Process or crush the cookies to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and process again until combined.
NOTE: If you don’t have a food processor crush the cookies in a plastic bag using a rolling pin.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes.
Once slightly cooled wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in a double or triple layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Set the springform pan in a large roasting pan and set aside.
3. Prepare the filling
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Combine the chopped chocolate and milk and microwave until melted and smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder and espresso if using. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl lightly beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again.
Stir in the salt, vanilla, sour cream and the slightly cooled melted chocolate mixture. Blend on low until combined.
Pour the filling into the foil-wrapped springform pan. Place the roasting pan and cheesecake in the oven. Fill the outer roasting pan with enough hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake until the center jiggles slightly, the sides start to puff and the surface appears dry, about 90 minutes.
4. Cool in the oven
Once baked turn off the oven and prop the door open slightly using a pot holder or wooden spoon handle. Cool in the hot water bath for 1 hour.
Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and remove the foil. Slide a small knife around the top inside edge of the pan to loosen. Leave the cake in the pan and cool to room temperature.
Once cool cover the pan tightly in plastic wrap and chill overnight or up to 24 hours before serving.
5. Make the whipped ganache (optional)
Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt for 2 to 3 minutes then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool until firm but still soft.
Using an electric mixer whip the ganache on high speed until fluffy. Pipe swirls on top and decorate as desired.
NOTE: If preferred, skip the whipped ganache and pour the slightly cooled chocolate mixture over the top of the cheesecake allowing some to drip decoratively down the sides.
Allow the ganache to set slightly in the fridge before serving.
PRO Tips for success:
- Don’t skip the hot water bath. This simple cooking method consistency produces excellent results. It’s not hard to do and only takes a few extra minutes to prepare.
- Use heavy duty aluminum foil that comes in a wider width than regular foil. If you try to piece together enough regular foil to cover the bottom of the pan, the water will find a way to get inside. The pan must be sealed to prevent leakage.
- Once the cheesecake is removed from the oven run a thin small knife around the top edge to ensure it releases from the sides as it cools. If the cheesecake is stuck to the sides it will pull the center apart as it cools and shrinks and create a crack. While this won’t affect the flavor, it does affect the presentation.
- Cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating. If the cake is covered and then chilled while still slightly warm, condensation will form on the inside of the plastic wrap and cause puddles on the top of the cake. Again this does not affect the flavor, only the visual appeal.
- For clean slices heat a large thin knife under hot running water then dry carefully. Slice the cheesecake, wipe the knife clean with paper towels and repeat.
Freezing Chocolate Cheesecake
Cheesecake freezes remarkably well and keeps for up to 3 months.
Cut into individual slices, separate and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pop in the freezer until set, about 2 hours.
Once frozen, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
To thaw unwrap the individual slices and place in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Our favorite Chocolate Cheesecake recipe
While there are a few steps to take when creating this showstopper dessert, each one is simple and straightforward.
Just like our other baked cheesecake recipes, this is also practically fool-proof and always produces delicious results.
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For the crust:
- 24 Oreo cookies regular not double stuf
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (18g)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the filling:
- 8 ounces good quality semisweet baking chocolate chopped
- ½ cup whole milk (4oz)
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon espresso powder optional
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar (283g)
- 24 ounces block cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream (4oz or 114g)
For the whipped ganache (optional):
- ⅓ cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Invert the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan so the cheesecake can slide off onto a serving platter easily. Lock the sides firmly in place. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
To prepare the Oreo crust:
- Pour the cookies and powdered sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Process the cookies to fine even crumbs. Add the melted butter and process until the mixture is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup press the crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Don’t press too hard. Slightly firm is good. Bake until set and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool before filling.
- Once cooled wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in a double or triple layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the springform pan in a large roasting pan and set aside.
To prepare the filling:
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Combine the semisweet chocolate and milk in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl or cup. Heat, stirring frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder and espresso powder, if using; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Scape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend again on low for about 30-seconds.
- With the mixer set on medium speed add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl and blend again. Be careful not to over mix.
- Stir in the salt, vanilla, sour cream and the chocolate mixture. Blend on low until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl again, and fold together using a rubber spatula.
- Pour the filling over the cooled crust in the foil-wrapped springform pan. Place the roasting pan and cheesecake in the oven. Fill the outer roasting pan with enough hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully slide the roasting pan into the oven. Bake at 325°F until the center jiggles slightly, the sides start to puff and the surface appears dry, about 90 to 100 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open slightly using a pot holder or wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the hot water bath for 1 hour. Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and remove the foil. Slide a small thin knife around the top inside edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the cheesecake. Leave the cheesecake in the pan and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
- Once cool cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
To prepare the whipped ganache (optional)
- In a small saucepan bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Allow the mixture to set for 2-3 minutes then lightly whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside until cool but firm and still soft.
- Using an electric mixer whip the ganache on high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pipe in swirls or decorate as desired.
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Chocolate Cheesecake for chocolate lovers
We adore cheesecake in just about any form and this one does not disappoint. The chocolate really shines without overpowering the tangy cream cheese flavor we all know and love.
The texture of this cake is not too soft and not too stiff. It keeps well for up to a week and serves a dozen or more. While it takes a ‘little’ extra time to prepare the hot water bath, it’s not difficult or hard to make.
If you love cheesecake, like we love cheesecake, check out our 5 star recipe for Lemon Cheesecake with a tangy lemon curd topping.
Another favorite is our simple Blueberry Cheesecake. This lemon infused New York-style cheesecake is a keeper and especially great with an extra spoonful of blueberry sauce.
Next on my list is this unique and beautiful Basque Burnt Cheesecake Recipe by Bon Appètit. I can’t wait to try it!