This chocolate chip cheesecake has a chocolate crust, a creamy filling loaded with mini chocolate chips and is topped with a chocolate ganache.
We went to Cheesecake Factory over the weekend. I was thinking since it was the first of the year and people are still in diet mode, as well as being extremely cold in Connecticut that it might not be too busy. I was wrong on both accounts. We got there on a Saturday just before five and still had to wait an hour. We spent half our time perusing books at a bookstore across the street and the other half standing by the very busy dessert counter. My daughter, Nicole, picked out the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake for herself, but as she kept seeing the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake prepped on the counter, she changed her mind. I got a taste and it was delicious!
I made this chocolate chip cheesecake as a basic building block. My goal is to work my way up to more extravagant cheesecakes as the year progresses.
How to make the crust:
To make the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until there are fine crumbs. Add in cocoa, sugar, and melted butter and gently toss ingredients together with a fork until moistened.
This is the first time I tried a chocolate crust with graham crackers and cocoa and I was concerned that the crumb mixture looked speckled instead of fully brown.
This was also the first time I was experimenting with putting a cheesecake in a regular cake pan instead of a springform pan and I have to admit I was nervous. Making a cheesecake turns into a costly endeavor and I’m already worried about having a speckled crust and wondering how I’m going to get the cheesecake successfully out of the pan once it’s cooked. (Thankfully, it all turned out fine). Line just the bottom of a nine-inch cake pan (or springform pan) with parchment paper and then proceed to press the crumb mixture evenly throughout bottom and sides of pan. (You can use your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup/glass)
Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F and then let cool on wire rack.
Here’s how to make the filling:
In large bowl, blend the softened cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape bottom and sides of bowl with spatula throughout.
Add in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time blending on medium speed until fully blended. Batter will be very smooth.
Add in heavy whipping cream and fresh lemon juice to batter and blend until ingredients are combined. Batter will be on the thin side. Fold in a cup of the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place cake pan (or springform pan) into larger roasting pan and add hot water to roasting pan so that it reaches midway up cake pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until center of cheesecake is only slightly jiggly. Turn off oven and crack open door. Leave cheesecake in oven for an additional 45 minutes.
If you are using a cake pan, it eliminates the need to double wrap the springform pan with aluminum foil to avoid water seeping into the pan and making your crust soggy. Cake pans don’t leak but unfortunately springform pans do. I wish I could tell you it’s okay to skip the water bath, but if you want a cheesecake without cracks, it’s best to go the water bath route.
Cover top of pan with saran wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 to 10 hours. There’s a site, Gretchen’s Bakery, that recommends applying a blowtorch to the outside of the pan to remove cheesecake. Since I don’t a) own a blowtorch and b) have no desire to learn how to use a blowtorch, I chose a more practical method. I filled my roasting pan with hot water and placed my cake pan in the warm water for about a minute, making sure not to get any water inside the pan. I then used a thin spatula (or butter knife) to skim around edge of pan and cheesecake. I then took a plate and inverted the cheesecake onto the plate and quickly inverted it again so that it was right side up and on the plate I desired. During this time, I was holding my breath and praying that it would work. Thankfully, the cheesecake plopped right onto the plate without any difficulty.
So now we’re onto the final step. Put the cheesecake back into the refrigerator and make the ganache topping. I used a double boiler on medium low heat to melt the semisweet chocolate chips, making sure to stir chocolate frequently. Add in the heavy cream and continue stirring until mixture is smooth.
Let the ganache topping cool for about thirty minutes and then use a spatula to spread on top of cheesecake. I started with a large amount in the center and then worked my way outward. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Keep this dessert refrigerated and enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
This chocolate chip cheesecake consists of a rich and creamy cheesecake loaded with mini chocolate chips and topped with a chocolate ganache.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
For the cheesecake filling:
- 3 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temp
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the ganache topping:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
For the crust:
Line bottom of nine-inch cake/springform pan with sized parchment paper.
2. Place graham crackers in food processor and blend until finely crumbled to equal 1 1/2 cups.
3. In medium sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, sugar, and melted butter together with fork until all ingredients are moistened.
4. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool.
For the cheesecake filling:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If using a springform pan, make sure to doublewrap bottom and sides of pan with aluminum foil.
2. In large bowl, blend softened cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for at least 3 minutes.
3. Add in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time and blend on medium speed until well-blended.
4. Add in heavy whipping cream and lemon juice and blend for an additional minute.
5. Fold in mini semisweet chocolate chips to batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pan in larger roasting pan and slowly add hot water until cheesecake pan is covered midway.
6. Bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until center of cheesecake is still jiggly. Turn off oven and crack door open. Continue to cool in oven for an additional 45 minutes.
7. Cover cheesecake pan with saran wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 8 to 10 hours.
For the ganache topping:
Use double boiler on medium low heat.
1. Place semisweet chocolate chips into top of double boiler and stir frequently until chocolate melts.
2. Add in heavy whipping cream and continue stirring until smooth and glossy.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes before applying to top of cheesecake.