Last week, I was planning my menu for Mother's Day dinner. My mom was planning to be with us and I was planning as much of dinner to be prepared before hand as possible. My husband likes to think that he does all the work on Mother's Day, which just means I have to appear to not be working on the actual day. It makes for a lot of work, I'll tell you that. I asked one of the kids, "How about a strawberries and cream cake for Mother's Day?" To which he replied, "How about a chocolate cheesecake?" I suppose that's what I get for asking.
I hunted down a new recipe for cheesecake, something we had not tried before and I am so glad I did. This recipe was not only very simple to make, but it was such a yummy cheesecake. Very soft and chocolatey, but not overly so, it was a perfect cheesecake. I really liked the crust -- with the addition of the cocoa powder, you take a graham cracker crust and make it chocolate. Yum!
A few notes: custard powder is instant vanilla pudding, so you'll need to buy a small box and use 1 tablespoon. I always keep an open box on-hand for adding to whipping cream, so you can use the rest another day. Also, I did not use all of the sauce on top -- it was too much. You can either half the recipe or save the remainder for drizzle over each piece at serving time.
Nigella's Chocolate Cheesecake
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
1 T. cocoa
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
2 1/2 cups cream cheese
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 T. custard powder (instant vanilla pudding)
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 t. cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 t. dark corn syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.
Put a kettle on to boil.
Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the cream cheese to soften it, then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.
Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling.
Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.
Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.
To make the chocolate sauce: very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and pour it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate.
Source: The Food Network