My youngest brother had a plan, one that I was unaware of. It was for me to make a chocolate cheesecake. Of course, he didn’t actually apprise me of his plan until all the ingredients (literally) were in place. “Oh, I bought a six-pack of cream cheese from the store because it was on sale…I also bought this giant bag of chocolate chips! Wait, do we have graham crackers?”
You get the idea.
I had never made a chocolate cheesecake before, usually sticking to being a purist in the cheesecake realm by making a New York-style cheesecake once a year (mainly because I don’t want my hips to start getting the form of a cheesecake).
But a chocolate cheesecake always intrigued me. So keeping in cookbook theme, my trusty New York Times Cookbook was pulled out, because I knew Craig Claiborne had a recipe in there.
Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe (adapted from The New York Times Cookbook recipe)
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup of shredded wheat crumbs/flakes/leavings
5 TBSP melted butter
3/4 (minus 2 TBSP) sugar
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 1/2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Another reason why I don’t like making cheesecake is because of the time consuming process when you have to make one from scratch. The whipping, the folding, the long baking time at a low temp, the resting period, the chilling period, etc. If you’ve seen the other recipes I’ve posted here, you might have noticed that I’m a fan of the quick and tasty. And there is nothing fast about a cheesecake.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Mix the graham cracker and shredded wheat "crumbs" with the butter. Press the mixture into the greased springform pan until a 1 to 1 1/2 inch crust is formed around the sides of the pan and the bottom is evenly coated. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate on the top of a double-boiler, remove from heat and let cool.
Beat together the cream cheese, salt, vanilla and half of the sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in the egg yolks one by one until well incorporated and you have a nice smooth batter. Fold in the melted chocolate until well incorporated. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until they hold stiff peaks. Remember to add the sugar a little at a time while beating the eggs so that they actually incorporate completely.
Whip the heavy cream until stiff.
Add the egg whites and whipped cream to the chocolate cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle flour on top. Fold all these components together and make sure every item is well incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan and bake for 1 1/4 hours. Do not open the oven door for one hour. Turn off the heat and let the cake sit in the oven for another 3 to 4 hours before removing. Once out of the oven, place in your refrigerator to chill.
And voila a good 4-5 hours later, a chocolate cheesecake is born.
The texture was decidedly creamier and lighter than a New York-style cheesecake. I spread some strawberry jam on top (which was "melted").It made me feel less self conscious about scarfing down a slice every other day until it disappeared. Dangerous.