I fell off the healthy wagon early this month and made Death by Chocolate Cheesecake! Hands down the most decadent cheesecake, ever. It should carry a warning, just in case the name Death by Chocolate Cheesecake isn’t enough to clue you in. It’s a serious Chocolate Cheesecake for serious chocolate lovers, only!
Gorgeous Cheesecakes are always impressive & this is no exception! I love making cheesecakes; they’re really kind of a cheat. They always look a lot more difficult than they are, and they’re usually pretty straightforward.
About Death by Chocolate Cheesecake:
This cheesecake is chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Plus a few more chocolates. A chocolate Oreo Crust, the Chocolate Cheesecake, a rich chocolate ganache topping, then the chocolate curls. Usually, I actually sever this atop a plate squiggled with more chocolate in the form of chocolate syrup. Those chocolate squiggles actually help cut some of the richness, if you can imagine.
I guarantee you’ve never had such decadent chocolate richness as Death by Chocolate Cheesecake. If possible, serve this after a lighter dinner, maybe with coffee, and serve in small slices. This is seriously one of the few desserts that I have a little difficulty finishing! I kept saying, “Oh, I can’t eat another bite.” But of course, I did.
When I served it recently to my son, I think he felt a little cheated because I had the whole cheesecake and gave him a piece about three inches across…then he “got” it! And Kraig, the kid who eats everything (and anything) actually refused a second slice! It IS that rich. But that’s great because can serve a lot of people.
Making Death by Chocolate Cheesecake:
Cheesecakes are kind of a cheat – they always look like they’re a lot harder than they are. This one is super easy – no need to worry about fussy water baths or cooling methods – the deep layer of decadent chocolate ganache covers a multitude of errors and those chocolate curls are stupid simple.
This cheesecake will look bizarre in the oven. It’s going to form a crust but do take it out when the edges are done & the center is still quite jiggly. It’s going to sink just a bit as it cools, but the ganache & chocolate curls will fix everything up. That sunken center is the perfect place for the rich ganache to pool.
Warning on the curls, though, although they are simple, they can take some practice so you might want to make them ahead of time. The key is to make sure the chocolate is at just the right temperature and I find that an old-fashioned potato peeler is just the thing to make them work. If worse comes to worse, remelt the chocolate and try again.
I do have one top-secret pro tip for the chocolate curls. I keep mine in the fridge and before serving, after I top the cheesecake with the curls but while they are still cold, I hit them lightly with the flame from a blow torch. Not enough to melt, just enough to give them a bit of a shine. It’s an amazing transformation, and completely optional. I didn’t put it in the recipe, which is long enough, so it’s our secret! If you want to see the chocolate curls without being touched up by a little heat, check out this French Silk Pie recipe.
Allow enough time for this cheesecake: The cream cheese and eggs need to be at room temperature. Then you’ll bake the crust, cool, fill then bake the cheesecake. Let it rest on the counter two hours, then refrigerate overnight. Make the ganache the next day, cool to room temperature, pour over the cheesecake and let set up in the fridge for two hours. Then remove the whole cheesecake and let sit, preferably for two hours before serving. So no serious hands-on time, except maybe making those chocolate curls, but a lot of hurry up and wait time is involved.
You might also want to see my post on the Mastering the Best Oreo Crust like a Boss for a few more hints and tips. The recipe is included right in the Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe, but if you’re new to Oreo crusts like this, you might pick something up.
Saving Money by Chocolate Cheesecake:
As for shopping tips: Watch for cream cheese on sale and stock up. It keeps for weeks in the fridge & can be frozen. Good chocolate is almost always on sale around major holidays and the cookies are a good coupon item.
Don’t be afraid of the corn syrup in this recipe. Yes, it’s made from corn and it is pure sugar, but it’s not the same as high fructose corn syrup. It’s another item often on sale during the winter holidays and keeps, literally, for years in the cupboard. It’s what gives the ganache topping in this cheesecake the distinct, shiny fudginess.Print
Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
The most decadent cheesecake, ever. Serve small slices! You’ve been warned! 🙂
- Yield: 8 to 12 servings
- 24 Oreo cookies, finely crushed (use the ones with the chocolate middle if possible)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- additional butter or spray for the pan
- 10 ounces of good 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see note)
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (see note)
- 4 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons whipping cream
- 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 6 ounces chocolate, cut into small pieces or 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons shortening (do not use butter)
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray or butter a 9″ springform pan (preferably about 3″ tall, at least 2 1/2 inches tall.) Mix together cookies and melted butter and press in the bottom and about 2″ up the sides of pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until just set, remove and cool while preparing filling.
For the filling:
Heat chocolate in the microwave for one minute, stir and continue to heat in 30-second increments until melted and smooth. Set aside until lukewarm but still pourable.
Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in a food processor or stand mixer until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time, barely mixing after each. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. You may need to scrape down and use your spatula several times during mixing. Pour filling over crust; smooth top.
Bake until set around the edges but the very center is still jiggly. The top will appear dry and crusty, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place on a rack and leave until room temperature, about two hours, then chill overnight.
For the topping:
Bring cream and syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips; whisk until smooth. Cool to just lukewarm before pouring over cake completely cool cheesecake. Drizzle, allowing some to flow down the outside edge of the cake. Allow to set up for about two hours, in the fridge. Top with chocolate curls just before serving. Allow to come up to room temperature, if possible, for about 2 hours before serving.
For the chocolate curls:
Line a small container with aluminum foil. Place chocolate and shortening in a microwave container and melt in 30-second increments, stirring after each pour into foil-lined container. Cool in refrigerator until chilled all the way through.. When cool, remove the foil-lined chocolate from the container and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Holding with a hot pad (so as not to transfer too much heat from your hand) scrape across chocolate forming rough “curls”. Vary the width by changing the angle of the peeler.
May be made several days ahead and stored in a single layer in a cool place.
- Serve with a little chocolate syrup drizzled on the plate.
- Cake may be made up to three days ahead without the topping or chocolate curls and tightly wrapped and refrigerated.
- On chocolate: Do use the best quality chocolate you can find for this recipe and try to find 70 percent for the cheesecake. A different percentage could affect the texture.
- On Cocoa: Use the Natural, not Dutch Processed.
I’ll be taking this recipe to Fiesta Friday Link Party!