Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011
Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake is a triple hit of dark chocolate—chocolate crust, chocolate cheesecake and chocolate ganache. Whenever the dark chocolate urge hits you can be set to go with this fabulous recipe. This is a less sweet, and darker version than the one in the Choclatique cook book. It is still very rich and sinfully delicious. It goes well served with an aged cabernet or a vintage port.
I like to garnish it with a dollop of Crème Fraîche and Choclatique chocolate curls (more chocolate you know), but you can create your own fresh seasonal topping with a compote of fresh berries—I think raspberries are the very best with chocolate.
Prep time: 40 minutes (includes, crust, cake and ganache)
Bake time: Crust 6 to 8 minutes; Cheesecake 1 hour 15 minute
Chill time: Cake 8 hours (overnight); Ganache Topping 2 hours
Yield: 12 to 14 servings
For the crust:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for the pan)
30 chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco)
4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
For the filling:
10-ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
32-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Onyx Cocoa Powder, sifted
4 large eggs, room temperature
For the ganache topping:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup crème fraîche (recipe below)
3 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls
For the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9-inch-diameter springform pan.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil to water proof the pan.
- Pulse the cookies, 4 tablespoons of sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until finely ground.
- Add the melted butter and the almond extract; process until well blended.
- Dip the bottom of a glass in water and press down to form the bottom crust by press the crumbs evenly onto bottom of the prepared springform pan. Do not run the crust up the sides of the pan.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F if you are using a dark or anodized pan.
For the filling:
- Using a microwave oven melt the chocolate at 50% power in 15 second increments until completed melted and the chocolate has a smooth glossy finish. Set aside to cool.
- Pulse the cream cheese, 1-1/3 cups sugar and cocoa powder in processor until smooth.
- Blend in eggs one at a time.
- Blend in the lukewarm chocolate.
- Pour filling over crust; smooth top.
- Allow the pan to sit on a counter for 20 minutes to eliminate any air bubbles.
- Place the springform pan in the center of a larger pan and fill half way up with hot water creating a water bath.
- Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 15 minutes until center is just set turn off the heat and let the cake sit in the oven with the door open for another 15 minutes to prevent the cake from falling and cracking.
- Cool the cheese cake for 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of cake to loosen. Do not pop the springform pan.
- Chill 8 hours or best overnight.
For the ganache topping:
- Blend the heavy cream, 8 ounces chocolate and 3 tablespoons of sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour the ganache over the center of the chilled cheesecake, spreading to the edge of the pan.
- Chill until topping is set, about 1 to 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, release the sides of the springform and carefully transfer the cheesecake to platter.
- For the best flavor, always allow a cheesecake to come room temperature before serving (about an hour or so).
- Portion and cut the cake slices and top with crème fraîche and sprinkle with chocolate curls.
ChefSecret: In a pinch you can use Chocolate Oreo Cookies for the crust by reducing the granulate sugar to 1 tablespoon and using only half the butter.
Homemade Crème Fraîche
Yield: Makes about 1 cup
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container.
- Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 72°F) 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick.
- Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.
Special Note: Crème Fraîche is a great dessert topping for pies, puddings, cakes and this—Ultra-Dark, Midnight Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake.