I’ve had a bit of a cheesecake experimenting thing going recently… I’ve tried a couple of no-bake ones: the first was a no-bake lemon/granadilla one that was easy and delicious, the second was a strawberry-infused one that was OK, but I made the mistake of adding (what I thought was) a little bit of powder colouring to get “just the right” shade of pretty pink I had in mind. It turned out SUPER pink – I won’t make that mistake again! So for this month’s post, I’m sharing with you my favourite out of my recent bakes: a deliciously decadent baked chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo biscuit base.
Baked Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust
YOU WILL NEED
Equipment: An electric mixer/food processor, whisk, 22cm springform pan, small saucepan, small heat-proof bowl
For the crust:
- 24 (1½ packs) Oreo cookies – finely crushed
- 57g butter or margarine
For the cheesecake filling:
- 920g (4 tubs) cream cheese at room temperature
- 270g caster sugar
- 45ml cocoa powder
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 280g dark chocolate – finely chopped
For the chocolate topping:
- 100ml cream*
- 160g dark chocolate – finely chopped
- 15ml granulated sugar
For the decoration:
A little extra whipped cream as well as fruit, edible flowers or other decorations of your choice – I’ve used granadilla, kiwi, and figs as well as gold-dusted speckled eggs!
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/175ºC/350ºF
Prepare your springform pan by cutting a circle of baking paper for the bottom, as well as cutting strips for the sides.
Instructions for the crust:
- Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, then add melted butter and blend until well combined.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool while making the filling.
Instructions for the filling:
- Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
- Using your electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar and mix until smooth.
- Mix in the cocoa powder.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed and taking care not to overbeat the mixture.
- Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1hr to 1hr 10mins. At this time, the center of the cheesecake will still be a little bit wobbly, but the surface will feel firm to the touch with a bit of give when pressed lightly. If your finger sinks into the cake or comes away with batter on it, the cake needs more time in the oven. Bake it for another 5 minutes before rechecking it.
- Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to place in the refrigerator (uncovered) to set completely – this needs to be at least 8 hours, but ideally overnight.
Instructions for the topping:
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it boils (be careful not to let it boil over!).
- Place the chopped chocolate in the heat-proof bowl and pour the hot cream over it.
- Allow to stand for 5 – 10 mins to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate and to allow the overall temperature to reduce a little.
- Now for the whisking: start slowly, then increase your speed, whisking the mixture in one direction until smooth and creamy. This may take a little while, the ingredients may initially look like they don’t want to mix, but just carry on whisking until you get that lovely thick, rich texture everyone loves about ganache.
- Set the ganache aside to cool a little, then pour over the cheesecake and allow to cool completely.
- When the topping is set and cooled, gently remove the cheesecake from its springform pan and place on your plate of choice.
- Decorate with whipped cream, fruit or whatever other decorations take your fancy – this can quite easily be tailored to any theme or occasion!
* The chocolate and cream quantities used in this recipe make for a lovely glossy ganache that sets quite firmly, but not so much so that it cracks when you cut it. By adding more or less cream, you can make yours runnier or more firm according to your preference.
* This cheesecake can be prepared 2-3 days in advance – simply store (covered) in the refrigerator until needed, then decorate as required.
* This can be an expensive bake, as the recipe calls for 4 tubs of cream cheese which can be quite pricey, but a baking-loving friend recently suggested freezing cream cheese, so that’s exactly what I’ve done. I came across some reduced price tubs recently and bought a whole lot. Defrosting them overnight worked wonderfully!
* For the gold-dusted speckled eggs, dampen the surface of the egg with a little water and a clean, soft paintbrush, then dip the egg in edible gold dust powder.