There are numerous ways and styles to make cheesecake. Thick crust, thin crust, rich and creamy or dense and firm. You can bake them dry or in a water bath. I’ve developed this recipe over the years by combining cheesecake recipes and experimenting with different ingredients according to our personal tastes. This cheesecake has little to no crust and is very rich and creamy, almost like eating fudge! The steps involved may seem daunting, but making cheesecake is very simple. You will need a 9 in springform pan and heavy duty aluminum foil. This is easiest made the night before you want to serve it.
1 Tablespoon melted butter
3 Tablespoons crushed graham crackers
4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 sour cream
12 oz dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoon butter
Manhar (also called dulce de leche) or Caramel
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a spring-form pan with aluminum foil. Fold the foil under the bottom, assemble pan and then fold the foil up over the sides. Brush the melted butter on the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and tilt in all direction to evenly coat the pan. Place pan on two large sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil (you must use heavy duty!), wrap the foil up around the sides of the springform pan to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake. . Place in a large roasting pan and boil water for water bath.
- Place cream cheese in stand mixer and mix until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar in a steady stream and beat on medium speed until sugar is dissolved. Approx 3 min. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined and scraping down the sides after each addition Don’t skip this step! If you don’t scrap down the sides, you will end up with lumps of cream cheese in your batter.
- In a sauce pan, melt dark chocolate chips and heavy cream together over low heat. Cool slightly. Combine chocolate and sour cream and vanilla extract into cream cheese and egg mixture on low speed. Scrape the sides down to ensure the chocolate is thoroughly incorporated.
- Place batter in prepared pan. Resist the urge to scrape the mixer blades, or you may end up with lumps in your cheesecake. If you properly scraped down the sides of the bowl, you should have no trouble scraping out the bowl.
- Set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to cover halfway up the sides of springform pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The middle will be jell-o like and the perimeter set. Turn off oven and go to bed with the decadent smell of chocolate through out the house! Alternately, you could also prop the oven door ajar with the handle of a wooden spoon for an hour. Remove from oven/ water bath and cool completely before refrigerating. If you’ve left your cheesecake overnight in the oven, remove it from the oven/ water bath in the morning and refrigerate 4-6 hours.
- While the cheesecake is cooking is a good time to prepare your manhar/ dulce de leche. You can either boil a can of unopened sweetened condensed milk in the crock pot on low over night or on the stove top for 2-3 hours. Always make sure it is completely submerged in water. You can also pour the contents into a sauce pan and cook on low until caramelized and thickened according to taste. You will need to stir it constantly. Refrigerate until cool and ready to use. Or you can make it even easier on yourself and buy a really good caramel sauce!
- When cheesecake is thoroughly chilled or an hour before serving, assemble the cheesecake. Carefully remove the outside portion of the spring form pan. Fold any foil back under the base; if your daring you can try to remove the cheesecake to a serving plate. I leave mine on the base. Melt the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan. Set aside to cool slightly. Spread a either a thick or thin layer of manhar over the top of cheesecake and sprinkle with desired amount of chopped pecans. Take cooled chocolate and place in a plastic sandwich type bag. Snip the corner of the bag and squeeze/ drizzle the chocolate over the pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve!
Various tips and tricks:
Some recipes say to never use a mixer for cheesecake as it incorporates air bubbles and causes it to crack. I’ve never had a cheesecake crack, but mine do come out with air bubble marks on the top. I’ve never felt this was a problem as it gets covered up with loads of yummy toppings. If this bothers you, simple mix the ingredients by hand.
This cheesecake does great in the freezer, simply slice into portions and wrap in plastic wrap.