Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

from the book Luscious Chocolate Desserts

This is so good, and so intense.   I’m making it for a small birthday lunch tomorrow, but in a 5″ (I think) springform pan instead of the usual 9″.  In the smaller pan I make 1/3 the recipe, and it’s the perfect size.   Use good quality chocolate.

CRUST
9 oz chocoalte wafers (I have usually used teddy grahams or TJ’s cats cookies)
6 T unsalted butter, melted

FILLING
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temp
2 t vanilla extract

Tightly wrap foil all around the outside of a springform pan.  Butter the inside.

Grind chocolate wafers in a food processor (or blender) until finely ground.  With motor running, slowly add butter.  Press into bottom of pan and bake crust for 8-10 minutes at 350.  Let cool.

Mix chocolate with butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of 1 1/2 inches of nearly simmering water, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa powder.  Remove bowl from heat and let mixture cool to room temp (or close).

Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer, until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in salt, then chocolate mixture until just smooth.  Add sour cream and vanilla and beat again.

Transfer filling into springform pan.  Set the pan inside a roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set but still slightly jiggly.  Do not over bake!  Cheesecakes firm as they cool.  Remove from roasting pan and let cake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water and let cool totally on a wire rack,  then remove the foil and refrigerate the cheesecake at least 12 hours.

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