A cheesecake that is deep, dark and decadent earns the right to be called "3D." This version always looks its chocolate best, because the ganache coating blankets any cracks you may experience, as cheesecakes sometimes like to show. —Vanassa Hicks, Flint, Michigan
- 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 5 whole crackers)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 1 package (10 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup (4 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled chocolate and cocoa. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to larger pan.
- Bake 55-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream and sugar just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool to reach a spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.
- Remove rim from pan. Spread ganache over cheesecake to within 1 in. of edge. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as 3D Chocolate Cheesecake in Taste of Home April/May 2012, p67
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