This was a birthday tradition my older teen adopted in 2007. She wanted my incredibly rich, chocolaty without being heavy or truffle-like, not too sweet, and creamy marbled cheesecake all to herself! So, I am typically busy baking another wondrous treat–on this special day–just for my sweetest joy!
This year, I decided to try something different. Instead of graham crackers, I used organic animal crackers from Trader Joe’s…replace Sweetened Condensed Milk with organic granulated sugar…added an extra egg and more chocolate chips.
INGREDIENTS (serve 12)
1 (6 oz.) pkg. Nestle’s Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Sugar
1 1/4 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 T Sugar
1/4 C Melted Butter
2 (8 oz) package. Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 t vanilla
4 Eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325°. Combine over hot (not boiling) water, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup sugar; heat until chips melt and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; set aside. In a small bowl combine cracker crumbs, 2T sugar, and melted butter; mix well. Spread mixture evenly in a 9-inch springform pan and press down firmly, covering 1 1/2 inch up sides of pan. (DD likes to have Oreo cookie crust next year. No sugar needed.) Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and creamy. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs, one by one, beating each until fully mixed
Pour ½ of the batter into the bowl with melted chocolate and stir well. Next, pour chocolate and plain batters into prepared pan, evenly distributing and alternating batters.
Swirl with a clean knife.
Bake cheesecake for 50-55 minutes. It will not look totally firm when done; it will jiggle. The whole cake should jiggle evenly, though the center might be a bit looser. Cool cheesecake as mentioned above for at least 1 hour before refrigerating. I filled the pan with large, haphazard dollops of batter and swirled them together with a knife until batter marbleized. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath; it is not required for simplicity sake. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour or until only a 2-3 inch circle in center will shake. Cheesecake cracks when it is exposed to a sudden temperature change. I’ve had success in preventing cracking by leaving it in the oven (with it off and the door ajar) for about 1 hour after it’s done to allow the custard to set. Make sure to chill it overnight in the refrigerator; creamy cheesecake tastes its best when cool. When you are going to serve the cheesecake, keep a moist dishtowel at hand and wipe down the knife after each slice. This will keep your slices clean and even. The thick crust is a perfect balance to the richness of the cheesecake. This crust turned out very crumbly…next time add more butter.
Are you a cheesecake lover? Do you have a family favorite recipe you use? I love to hear your experience. Wait…something’s missing?! Whip up some raspberry syrup go to with this treat.
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
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