Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Tessa's Recipe Rundown...
Taste: Absolutely packed with chocolate flavor and the perfect balance of sweetness.
Texture: Rich, creamy, smooth, and fudgy with a hint of crunch from the crust.
Ease: No water bath required! There are a few steps involved, and you will dirty some dishes, but it’s nothing you can’t handle!
Pros: Crowd pleasing, can be made ahead of time, will satisfy any chocolate craving, and you only need a small slice!
Cons: Positively decadent!
Would I make this again? Yes, I’ve already served this recipe twice.
This Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is for true chocoholics only. It’s the definition of chocolate decadence. There’s chocolate in FOUR forms: chocolate graham cracker crust, double chocolate filling (both cocoa powder and melted chocolate), and a chocolate ganache topping.
If you’ve ever muttered, “this is too rich and chocolaty” in your life than this may not be the recipe for you.
Besides the delightful chocolate flavor, the texture in this recipe is simply incredible. You get that perfect contrast of a slightly crunchy yet buttery crust, rich and smooth filling, and fudgy ganache topping.
I made this cheesecake for Father’s Day this past weekend and everyone loved it! You can serve alongside fresh strawberries or raspberries to really complement the chocolate flavor.
Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Tips
Chocolate Cookie Crust
This recipe calls for 15 “full size” chocolate graham crackers, meaning the entire rectangular sheet of graham cracker. This should weigh 225 grams or 8 ounces. If you’re using pre-ground crumbs, it should be 1 cup crumbs.
You could also make an Oreo cookie crust if you’d prefer! Simply swap in 30 (340 grams) standard whole Oreo cookies (NOT double-stuffed) and reduce the butter to 4 tablespoons (57 grams).
Be sure to use high quality full-fat bricks of cream cheese. It really makes a difference! And whatever you don’t, don’t use cream cheese that’s for spreading on a bagel.
The cream cheese should be completely room temperature. If it’s too cold, it won’t mix thoroughly and you’ll end up with little bits and pockets of unblended cream cheese. For best results, make sure your eggs are room temperature too!
Really beat the cream cheese well before adding in any other ingredients. You’ll also want to routinely scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, even if you’re using a paddle attachment that scrapes as it blends.
Baking Cheesecake without a Water Bath
There is no water bath required for this recipe! I decided to skip that hassle because even if some cracks form, we’re covering the cheesecake with thick chocolate ganache which will hide any imperfections.
To prevent cracks without the need for a messy water bath, we use the oven door trick. Once the cheesecake is almost done baking, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door just slightly to allow the oven to lose some of that heat. The key to preventing cracks is to baby the cheesecake. Any dramatic changes in temperature will cause cracks to form! If you want more tips for baking cheesecake without cracks, check out my free Ultimate Cheesecake Guide.
That’s why it’s also important to allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature completely before chilling. When it comes to cheesecake, it’s always better to err on the side of underbaking than over-baking. The edges should be set and dry, but if the center is still slightly wobbly or jiggly that’s fine. The residual heat will continue to cook the cheesecake even once it’s removed from the oven.
In my online baking class The Magic of Baking, I go in-depth in this concept and others so that you can know with confidence when something is truly done.
Serving & Storing Cheesecake
The hardest part of this recipe is that you must let it chill for at least 4 hours before you even think of slicing and serving it! I usually like to let it chill overnight, just to make sure it’s completely set and I’m able to cut clean slices. Use a sharp knife and run it under hot water in between cuts for beautiful bakery-quality slices.
Store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 2 days.
More Cheesecake Recipes:
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.
Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Insanely decadent Death by Chocolate Cheesecake features chocolate in FOUR forms: chocolate cookie crust, double chocolate cheesecake filling, with a chocolate ganache topping. It doesn't get better than this!
For the crust
- 15 (225 grams) full size chocolate graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 24 ounces (680 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the topping
- 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until you have 1 cup finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool slightly and maintain oven temperature while making the filling.
For the filling:
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chopped chocolate in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth. Let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, cream, and cocoa powder and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all cream cheese is being incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate until just combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of under-baking. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open and allow to cool for 10 minutes (this helps prevent cracking). Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.
For the topping:
Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. If needed, allow to cool and thicken. Pour over the cheesecake.
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