Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Servings: 12
This is the chocolate cheesecake you'll make over and over again for all the chocolate lover's you know. It's amazing!

24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz./56g) butter, melted

10 oz. (70% cocoa) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

3/4 cup whipping cream
6 oz. (70% cocoa) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Bittersweet chocolate curls (optional)

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch high sides.

Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For Filling:
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

For Topping:
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour.

Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls (optional). Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Date: March 13, 2007