Like the title says, this is the best chocolate cheesecake. Ever. I first made it when I had to make dessert to bring to dinner at my in-laws about a year and a half ago. But that time, I sort of cheated and bought a pre-made crust. I've made it several times that way and it's always delicious. However, when I decided to make a cheesecake for dinner with my mother-in-law recently, I decided to stop cheating and make it in an actual springform pan.
I was quite pleased with the results, even though the only chocolate wafer cookies or graham crackers I could find happened to be teddy grahams. But the teddy graham crust was my little secret.
You'll really love this cheesecake. Give it a try - you won't regret it.
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1 cup plus 3 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP butter, melted
2 1/2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
3 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
8 oz melted semisweet chocolate, cooled slightly
Fresh strawberries or raspberries, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, 3 TBSP of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of springform pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat until light and creamy, but do not over-beat.
Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and sour cream and mix well, but do not over-beat.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. Again, make sure you do not over-beat the mixture.
Meanwhile, prepare a water bath by making a water-tight seal around the spring form pan with aluminum foil.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. Place the pan in a large roaster and place warm water in the roaster about 1/2 way up the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is almost set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake remain in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the rim of the pan and allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.