Food & dining

Seasonal Recipes

Recipe: Bittersweet chocolate and cheesecake go hand-in-hand for your Valentine

Bittersweet chocolate cheesecake
Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe
Bittersweet chocolate cheesecake

Makes one 9-inch cake

Rich, smooth, and creamy, with a distinct chocolate taste, this cake has a cream cheese batter that bakes on a chocolate-crumb crust pressed into a springform pan. The cheese must be at room temperature, which can take several hours, so it can be thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. For an evenly blended batter, stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and lift up the batter from the bottom. To reduce the risk of cracks, which happen when cheesecakes are overcooked, bake the cake in a water bath until the edges are set but the middle is slightly jiggly. It will firm as it cools. After baking the cake, cool it in the oven, still in its water bath. When you lift it from the water, and dry the bottom of the pan, run a small metal spatula around the side of the cake to loosen it, then let it cool completely. Chill the cake overnight before unlatching the springform sides.

CRUST

Butter (for the pan)
30(about 6 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies
3tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Have on hand a roasting pan in which the springform pan will fit.

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2. In a food processor, work the chocolate wafer cookies until they form crumbs. You should have 1 cups.

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3. In a bowl, with a rubber spatula, combine the cookie crumbs and butter. Transfer the mixture to the springform and press it evenly onto the bottom. Set the springform pan on a wide sheet of heavy duty foil. Fold the foil up against the sides of the pan to prevent water from seeping in. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

FILLING

4ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1cup heavy cream
2packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
¾cup sugar
3eggs, at room temperature
1teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set the springform pan in the roasting pan.

2. In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring often. Stir in the cream until blended. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe the bottom dry.

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3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth and blended. With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and lift up the batter from the bottom of the bowl as necessary. Stir the batter one last time to be sure it’s perfectly smooth and evenly blended.

4. Pour the batter into the crust. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove any air bubbles.

5. Set the springform pan in the roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Pour enough hot tap water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the springform.

6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.

7. Turn the oven off, open the oven door, and use the handle of a wooden spoon to hold it open. Let the cake cool in the water bath in the oven for 1 hour.

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8. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and lift out the springform. Remove the foil and wipe the bottom of the pan dry. Set the pan on a wire rack. Run a small metal spatula around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Finish cooling on the rack. Cover the springform with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

9. Before serving, release the spring latch and lift it off. Jean Kressy

Jean Kressy can be reached at jeankressy@comcast.net.