The final cheesecake was really tasty. The chocolate flavor came through really well and it was creamy and delicious without being overly rich. The graham cracker crust got a bit soggy, so next time I'll make sure to wrap the pan a little better! The cheesecake was excellent on its own, but also tasty with some caramel sauce that Anthony made (after I horribly burned the first batch).
Double Chocolate Cheesecake (recipe adapted from Epicurious)
For the crust:
9 ounces chocolate graham crackers
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 8-ounce packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup full fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with double thickness of foil. Spray bottom of pan with vegetable oil spray. Finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor. Add the butter and process until blended. Press mixture onto the bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Make the filling:
Combine the cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until th espresso powder is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the filling.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in cornstarch. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate mixture. Return chocolate mixture to remaining cream cheese mixture; whisk until smooth.
Pour batter into crust. Place springform pan in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until softly set and slightly puffed around edges, about 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in the oven with the door closed for 45 minutes. Transfer springform pan to a rack and cool. Cover; chill cake overnight.
Easy Caramel Sauce (adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebowitz)
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a large, deep saucepan or Dutch oven, spread the sugar in an even layer. Cok over low heat, without stirring, until the caramel is a deep caramel color. Swirl the pan occasionally to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
2. Once the caramel begins to smoke and turns a deep amber color, immediately remove from the heat and very carefully whisk in half of the cream. Carefully stir until the sugar is dissolved, and then gradually whisk in the remaining cream, the salt, and the vanilla. If the sugar hardens, just whisk the mixture over low heat until all the bits of sugar dissolve.
3. The sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks. Just warm it in the microwave before using.