i made a chocolate cheesecake and i didn’t burn the house down

True story:  I did start a fire in the oven last night. It was unrelated to said chocolate cheesecake, but it did happen. I think it was *probably* related to me knocking over some olive oil over a burner and into the oven while cleaning earlier in the day. Later that night when I went to roast some veggies, there was a bit of a fire. As in real flames. A first for me! Somehow, I’ve managed to make it this far in life without a kitchen fire.

Fortunately, my fast acting husband was right there to save the day. Such a hero. In my best Urkel impression: “Did I do that!?”

Anyway, on to chocolate cheesecake! This was my first time making any kind of cheesecake and it’s crazy I’ve never made it before, because it is literally my favorite desert. I think the main reason is because I never just happen to have that much cream cheese laying around. That would be straight up dangerous because I love cream cheese. I can easily eat it by the spoonful.

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I originally planned on making a classic cheesecake, so I started off with a classic graham cracker crust. I just hammered my graham crackers in a baggie, but I bet a food processor would have been much easier. Throw the crumbs (about a cup to a cup and a half) in a bowl with the melted butter (1/3 cup) and sugar (1/4 cup) and mix it up real good, pat it down into a springform pan.

At this point, I decided that, because I happened to have some ghiradelli chocolate chips on hand, why not use them. So I decided to use the filling from this recipe with a few modifications, one being the graham cracker crust. I also didn’t bother with the chocolate topping, but only because I didn’t have whipped cream.

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I’m a bit of a kitchen minimalist, so I don’t have a double boiler. This stainless steel bowl that is versatile enough for mixing epic salads as well as heating chocolate. I just put it over a big stock pot. A real kitchen MacGyver over here. I used a 10 oz. bag of Ghiradelli chips, since that is what I had on hand.

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The next step this recipe calls for is to mix the “lukewarm” chocolate with the room temperature cream cheese. I didn’t really see a reason to wait since I was hand mixing, which is hard work and I really don’t recommend! I then added in the sugar and the additional cocoa, also a premium chocolate brand. I think the reason for wanting it to not be hot was for the next step, which was adding in the eggs one at a time. Curdled eggs would have not been good. I had no problem there because it took so long for me to mix it all by hand. Overall, not terribly difficult.

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Throw it in the pre-heated oven at 350 and let it bake for about an hour. When it’s done, the center should be cooked thoroughly. It really reminded me of a flourless chocolate torte I made before.

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The moment of truth. Was it delicious? YES. So rich. So decadent. I’m actually really glad it had a graham cracker crust because it was a nice complimentary flavor to the chocolate. It was similar to a flourless torte, but the FOUR PACKAGES of cream cheese made it, well, cream cheesier. Next time, I might try some sort of sour cream/whip cream/raspberry topping with it. It was really fine without. It is important to use quality chocolate though, as the original recipe says, and now I can see why. Recipe below:

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Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1-1 1/2 Cups of crumbled Graham Crackers (about 20)
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

Mix crackers until crumbly, then mix in melted butter and sugar. Pat down in springform pan. You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate, or use with other recipes!

Filling

  • 1 oz premium chocolate or chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli 60% chips
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened premium cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat to 350 degrees F. Use a double boiler or other fine fangled contraption to melt down chocolate chips. Set aside and mix in the cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa. Be sure that the mix has cooled down reasonably before adding in the eggs one at a time. Mix well! Pour it all in the springform pan and bake for about an hour, or until the center is all the way cooked. Wait for 4+ hours before cooking or refrigerate overnight.

Let me know how it goes in the comments! Cheers!