Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Rich, decadent, silky smooth dark chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust, covered in rich chocolate ganache.  No water bath necessary!

overhead view of a slice of dark chocolate cheesecake covered in chocolate ganache next to the rest of the cheesecake

It only seemed fitting that I start this new food blogging journey with a tribute to my mother.

My mother cooked dinner most nights rather than eating out or bringing home takeout. My father made breakfast on weekends, instead of going out to brunch or eating a plain bowl of cereal.

Birthdays and anniversaries were celebrated with a homemade cake, not a trip to the bakery.

side view of a dark chocolate cheesecake showing the oreo crust, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate ganache topping

Thus, it should come as no surprise that when my mother came to visit for my 28th birthday, she brought along a homemade dark chocolate cheesecake and my most favorite almond crumble blueberry pie.

My husband deemed this recipe a winner, and since it does not require baking in a water bath like my normal cheesecake recipe, I’ve adopted it as my own!  (True fact: I actually hate cheesecake, which makes it even funnier that the first post on my food blog is for a cheesecake recipe!)

one slice of dark chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust covered in chocolate ganache sitting on a small white dessert plate

How to Make Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

The best thing about this cheesecake?  You can make everything in a food processor!  (A stand mixer works too, if you don’t have a food processor.)

Grind the chocolate cookies for the crust in the food processor.  Wipe out the crumbs, and then make the cheesecake right in the food processor.  Fewer dishes?  Such a win!

The hardest part about making this chocolate cheesecake is knowing when to pull it out.  Cheesecakes continue to cook and set as they cool, so if you wait until the cheesecake is almost done jiggling, you’ve waited too long!  You want to pull it out when it still jiggles a lot — you’re looking for a 3 to 4 inch diameter circle in the center that really wobbles.

But there’s an even easier way to tell when a cheesecake is done, and it involves my favorite subject.. kitchen chemistry!  Are you ready?

Kitchen Chemistry

Take all the guesswork out of when a cheesecake is done.  Using an instant-read thermometer, take the cheesecake out of the oven when the center reaches 150 °F.  At 150 °F, egg yolks transition from runny to soft yet solid enough to hold their shape.  This is the precise moment when a cheesecake is perfect cooked.

Science: it works!

a cut slice of dark chocolate cheesecake showing the smooth, creamy, chocolate interior

Tips and Tricks for The Best Chocolate Cheesecake

Want to know all my secrets for a silky-smooth chocolate cheesecake?  Here we go!

  1. Use room temperature ingredients.  Cold cream cheese an eggs are harder to mix smoothly, which often leads to overmixing and adds excess air into the batter. Make sure to set your ingredients out ahead of time to bring them to room temperature first!
  2. Avoid excess overmixing. Even if your ingredients are room temperature, you can still mix too much!  Do you sometimes turn on your mixer and stop to wash some dishes or do something else and get distracted?  (Just me?)  Over-beating the batter adds too much air, which causes the cheesecake to puff up while baking and sink while cooling, leading to cracks.
  3. Grease the sides of the pan.  If the crust stops halfway up the pan, grease the sides above the crust.  A cheesecake shrinks as it cools, so you want it to pull away from the edges and shrink inwards.  If the cheesecake sticks to the sides, cracks will form in the center as it shrinks.
  4. Use a instant-read thermometer to determine when the cheesecake is done. Take the cheesecake out of the oven when temperature of the center of the cheesecake reaches 150 °F — no need to jiggle and shake and hope it’s done.
  5. Chill overnight before serving.  I know, I know – you want to dig in right away.  But an overnight chill will really help the cheesecake set and give you that perfectly cool, creamy texture!

More Cheesecake Recipes:

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: 16 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

Rich, decadent deep chocolate cheesecake covered in rich chocolate ganache. No water bath necessary!

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 24 chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

  • 9 ounces 60% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, room temperature

For the Ganache:

  • 6 ounces 60% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Chop cookies in a food processor until finely ground; add in 1 tablespoon sugar and butter until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes, until just set. Allow crust to cool.
  2. Roughly chop 9 ounces of dark chocolate. Stir in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from water and cool chocolate until lukewarm but still liquid. Blend cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups plus two tablespoons sugar, and cocoa powder in a food processor or mixer until smooth. Blend in eggs. Mix in melted chocolate. Pour filling over crust. Bake until center is just set and internal temperature reaches 150 °F, about one hour. Cool for 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.
  3. To make the ganache topping, stir together heavy cream, dark chocolate, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool sightly before pouring over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Chill until topping is set, about one hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557 Total Fat: 39.9g Carbohydrates: 44.6g Protein: 7.6g
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake: a rich, decadent chocolate cheesecake covered in chocolate ganache.  No water bath necessary! Plus tips for a perfectly smooth cheesecake every time. #bunsenburnerbakery #cheesecake #chocolatecheesecake #ganache #oreocrust