1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (plain or chocolate)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) optional
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
3 oz. good quality bittersweet baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, the 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese and the 1 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, just until blended. Blend in liqueur and grated orange zest.
Stir melted chocolate into 2 cups of the batter. Pour remaining plain batter over crust. Add tablespoonfuls of the chocolate batter to the plain batter. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.
Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 55 to 60 minutes or until center is almost set. Run small knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake and cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
If desired, substitute orange juice for orange liqueur.
Makes 12 servings.
Date: October 5, 2002