I’m ending this week on a sweet note. This is the second time I’ve made this cheesecake this month and we loved it both times. I don’t know about you all but cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts to eat and make – when A and I lived in Maryland, we frequented the Cheesecake Factory, always ordering a slice of heaven, which by the way, MUST be shared. Don’t let your eyes trick you into grabbing two because you just may not be able to finish. We made that mistake the first time and we had a slice to take home. Ok. I guess it wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
I digress. Making your own cheesecake isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. It’s just a matter of mixing and pouring, smoothing and baking. The trickiest part is in avoiding the dreaded crack. But don’t worry, cracks don’t deter from the flavor and you can always whip up some cream to cover it up. Lucky for me, this particular cheesecake has never cracked. Famous last words, I know. The recipe allows for a very gradual cooling period, complete with a water bath, both of which help in achieving a smooth top.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
LAYERED CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
1 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs (I used Horizon’s graham cookies)
1/4 c flour
3 T milk
2 T sugar
5 T melted butter
3 packages of cream cheese (8 oz packages)
1/2 c ricotta
3/4 c sugar
1 T vanilla
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour, milk, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly onto bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Wrap pan in foil, making sure that any seams are sealed. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, ricotta, 3/4 c sugar and 1 T vanilla together. Add eggs one at a time and beat for about 3 minutes. Set aside
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c sugar, cocoa, milk, and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend in 2 c from the cream cheese mixture.
Pour half of plain cream cheese mixture into crust and spread evenly. Top with half of chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining half of plain cheese mixture. Pour the leftover chocolate overtop and use a knife to swirl top. Place cheesecake in a pan with about 1/2″ of water (make sure that foil does not allow any water to get inside the pan). Bake at 350F covered with foil for 30 minutes. Bake another 50 minutes uncovered. Turn off oven and cool cheesecake inside oven with door closed. Refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving.