Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Servings: 12
A very rich and decadent cheesecake that will delight your guests and family alike. They will want to know your secret recipe, so don't be surprised when someone asks for it. This is a "to die for" cheesecake.

Chocolate Wafer Crust:
1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted

12 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brewed hot coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: (optional)
Dark bittersweet chocolate, grated
Chocolate coffee beans

Make the Chocolate Crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Tightly wrap bottom of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Mix together cookie crumbs and melted butter in bowl until combined. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.

Make the Filling:
Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth and let cool.

Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl until creamy, using electric mixer at low speed. Gradually add sugar and beat until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Dissolve salt in hot coffee. At low speed, slowly beat in the coffee. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate until blended. Pour mixture over crust. Place cheesecake in roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan so that the water comes halfway up the side of the springform pan.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until center is firm. Leave cheesecake in the oven and turn off the oven. Prop oven door open and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove cheesecake from roasting pan. Cool cheesecake in the pan on wire rack. When cheesecake is cooled, cover pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
Loosen edge of cheesecake with a knife. Remove side of springform pan.

Beat cream, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at medium speed. Reserve 1 cup whipped cream for garnish. Spread remaining cream over top of cheesecake. Sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large closed star tip (such as Ateco #5) with reserved whipped cream. Pipe a border of rosettes around edge of cheesecake. Decorate with chocolate coffee beans.
Serve cheesecake cold. Cut into wedges. Store un-eaten cheesecake in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.

Date: July 13, 2002