In this chocolate cheesecake recipe, a rich chocolate filling sits atop a chocolate cookie crust and then is finished off with a smooth chocolate ganache. It's an elegant dessert for serious chocolate lovers.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a non-stick, 9” springform pan and use heavy duty aluminum foil to line the bottom so there are no cracks. Locate another pan that is larger than the springform pan and in which the springform pan sits flat. The cheesecake will be baked in the larger pan in a water bath. Set aside.
Place Oreo cookies in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade or in a blender and process/blend until they reach the texture of fine crumbs.
In a large bowl, combine Oreo crumbs, sugar and butter and press into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes until slightly puffed. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Make the filling
While the crust is baking, in the bowl of a standing mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until there are no lumps.
Add cream, melted chocolate, espresso powder, vanilla, and, sea salt and beat until combined.
Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
Stir in flour until just combined.
Pour filling over baked crust.
Bake in a water bath
Bring about a quart of water to a boil. Put the cheesecake into the larger pan, then place them in the oven. Very carefully pour the boiling water into the lower pan making sure not to get any water into the cheesecake, until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 30-40 (start with 30 and go up from there) minutes until the cheesecake is set around the edges—a small spot in the middle should still look soft. Remove from the oven, remove from water bath, and cool slowly to room temperature.
To make the ganache:
Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it just barely begins to boil around the edges.
Add the chocolate chips and whisk until the mixture is smooth, then add the vanilla extract.
Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, which happens as it cools. Then pour slightly thickened ganache over the top of the cheesecake and spread it into an even layer.
Chill the chocolate cheesecake overnight. Serve with homemade whipped cream, if desired.
Note on springform pan:
If you don’t own a springform pan you can make this recipe, however it is not easy to get a cheesecake out of a cake pan. I have done it with this recipe though, here’s how:
Butter and flour the sides of a 9” cake pan.
Cut and fit a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside with handles (=o=).
Follow the recipe.
As soon as the cake is cooled to room temperature, use a sharp knife to cut around the sides of the cheesecake.
Use a long, skinny metal spatula and run it under the “handles” of parchment paper to try to release the cake.
Flip the cake over and tap the bottom hard.
Chocolate cookie crumbs. any chocolate cookie works well in the crust of this chocolate cheesecake. I always use double stuffed oreos, but other suggestions include: Trader Joe's JoJo's, regular Oreos, etc. You can use flavored cookies (birthday cake, peppermint, etc.) if you want to change the flavor. You can also use a gluten-free sandwich cookie to make this recipe gluten-free (Oreo started making gluten-free Oreo's now - amazing)!
Granulated sugar. Organic cane sugar is a great substitute for regular white sugar.
Salted butter. Unsalted butter or coconut oil can be used in the crust instead of salted butter, if desired.
Cream cheese. use full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor. I don't recommend making substitutions.
Heavy cream. half and half is acceptable substitute for heavy cream in both the ganache and cheesecake.
Vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste or the seeds of one whole vanilla bean are a good substitute for vanilla in the cheesecake.
Semisweet chocolate. any variety or form of chocolate works in this recipe, choose your favorite (chips, bars, discs, dark milk, etc.) It is melted in both the cheesecake and ganache so the form doesn't matter.
Espresso powder. I always have espresso powder on hand to make chocolate desserts (like this homemade chocolate cake). It's totally worth purchasing if you love baking. You can substitute instant coffee if you must.
All-purpose flour. bread flour, cake flour, or all-purpose gluten-free flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour.
Store leftover chocolate cheesecake in the refrigerator in an airtight container or on the serving plate covered in plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
1. Freeze the entire chocolate cheesecake. Make and chill the cheesecake, then put it in the freezer to harden for 1-2 hours. Once it is hardened, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cutting and serving. 2. Freeze individual slices. If you have a few leftover slices you want to freeze, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash-freeze them. Then, once they're frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.