- 1 (9-ounce) package Chocolate sandwich cookies
- 4 tablespoons Butter, unsalted, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages Cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups C&H® Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Instant espresso or instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons Hot water
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Sour cream
- 1 (10-ounce) package Bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
- 4 ounces Dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup Cream, heavy whipping
- 1 (1.45-ounce) bar dark chocolate, grated
For the chocolate cookie crust
For the cheesecake batter
For the chocolate ganache topping
For the topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the chocolate cookie crust by first assembling the springform pan. Set pan aside. Place cookies in a bowl of a food processor. Process until cookies are finely ground. Depending on the size of the food processor, the cookies may have to be ground in batches. Transfer crumbs into a mixing bowl. Add melted butter over top and mix with a rubber spatula to combine. Transfer crust mixture into an 8-inch springform pan. Press crust mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Once the crust is finished baking, set on a wire rack to cool slightly while the batter is being made.
Prepare the cheesecake batter by placing the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and cream cheese and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. After all of the eggs have been added, beat the mixture on medium speed to ensure that the eggs were incorporated well. In a small bowl, mix the instant espresso with hot water. Add the vanilla extract to the coffee mixture. Add the coffee mixture to the cream cheese mixture on low speed to incorporate. Add sour cream and beat to combine. On low speed, add the melted chocolate to the cheese mixture. Scrape the sides of a bowl with the rubber spatula and beat on medium speed to combine all ingredients.
To prepare pan for the batter, wrap the springform pan (which contains the baked crust) in aluminum foil so the bottom and the halfway up the pan is covered. Place the foil wrapped pan onto either a roasting pan or a sheet pan. Pour batter into prepared pan; the batter will come all the way to the top. Place pan in oven on the center rack and carefully pour in hot water around the cheesecake. The water should come up a little less than halfway up the sides of the pan.
Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and bake the cheesecake for approximately 1 hour, or until just set. Turn oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Be sure to not open the oven door. Leaving the cheesecake in the oven will finish the baking and prevent the top from cracking. After the second hour, remove cheesecake from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool completely. If the sides of the cake have not released from the sides of the pan, a small knife may be run around the sides to loosen from the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight.
Prepare the chocolate ganache topping. Place chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. In a glass measuring cup, heat heavy whipping cream in microwave until hot. Be careful not to overheat as the cream will overflow. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to melt chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula and mix until smooth. Set bowl aside.
To decorate the finished cheesecake, remove the sides from the pan. Place cheesecake onto platter or serving plate. Pour the chocolate ganache in the center of the cake and using an offset spatula, spread topping towards the sides, but leave a border of cake showing without the ganache. Before topping the cake, if the chocolate has cooled too much, warm topping in the microwave.
To decorate finished cake, if desired, add the grated chocolate in the center of the cake.
Batter may also be prepared in a blender or food processor. Cheesecake may be prepared ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. Thaw cake in refrigerator when ready to serve.
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