Sunday, February 14, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

In case you'd forgotten, Sunday was Valentine's Day today. I know, it's basically a Hallmark holiday, designed to sell overpriced cards, mediocre chocolate and hothouse roses that will wilt and die in about 24 hours. Can you feel the love?

I won't lie and say it isn't nice to have a Valentine, despite the general bah-humbug-ness I have about the holiday. Dwight and I have been together for the past 14 years and I'm certainly not bah-humbug about that.

It's a lot different than it was for the first Valentine's Day. We'd only been dating a few weeks and were still a bit shy and nervous. We went out to a nice dinner, were on our best behavior and went through the agony of picking out just the right card – nice without appearing TOO forward or lovey dovey.

After 12-1/2 years of marriage, we no longer bother with dinner out. Instead, we took some NY strips out of the freezer, invited over another couple, and I made cheesecake. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, to be precise. Who needs to go out with that kind of menu?

And what says "I love you" more than Triple Chocolate Cheesecake? Not much.
cheesecake-ganache topped

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from

9 oz graham crackers, crushed (You can use chocolate wafer cookies instead. I just didn't have any on hand)
1/4 c Smart Balance spread, melted (can use butter)
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
5 oz mini chocolate chips (about 2/3-3/4 cup)
3 pkgs (8 oz ea) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 lg eggs, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9" spring-form pan with oil.
2. Melt spread or butter. Blend graham crackers in food processor into crumbs. With processor running, slowly drizzle melted butter over crumbs until combined. Press into bottom and slightly up the sides of pan. Set aside.
3. In stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
4. Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Beat well. Add melted chocolate.
5. Pour approximately half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle mini chips evenly over the top. Carefully cover with remaining batter, dropping by spoonful and gently spreading to evenly cover the chips.
cheesecake-cc closeup
(see the little chips in the middle?)
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. It will be slightly wobbly. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, leaving the cake in the pan. Once cool, place in refrigerator overnight.

Ganache Topping
adapted from Smitten Kitchen (this is from the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake I made for Dwight's birthday last year)

3 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 oz butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)

1. Place chocolate in small, heat proof bowl.
2. In small sauce pan, heat butter over medium low heat until melted. Add cream and heat until nearly boiling, stirring constantly. Don't over heat.
3. Pour hot butter and cream mixture over chocolate.  Let sit, without stirring, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix thoroughly with small whisk, stirring until smooth and glossy. Taste and add additional sugar if you want.
4. Pour over chilled cheesecake, smoothing the top. I let mine stay within the natural "well" the top of the cheesecake made, but you could push the ganach over the edges for an artful drippy look or cover completely.
5. Chill at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Now, I didn't do the whole water bath thing or prop the oven door after it's done baking thing because I wasn't worried about having a pristine top. I didn't care if this cracked because of the ganache glaze. The way I see it, the imperfection of the chasm means just that much more ganache for the lucky person or persons that get those slices.
cheesecake-ganache poured


  1. I LOVE me some cheesecake, and that one looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  2. 3 reasons I LOVE your cheesecake. 1. it reminds me of my choc cheesecake I made on Valentine's Day. I made it with mini chips and a choc ganache too. 2. I took almost the exact same pic as the one you posted on foodgawker (I have been too lazy to actually post them to my blog though). 3. the dish the cheesecake is on, I have that same dish. I am cracking up at all the similarities right now. I am sure your cheesecake was AMAZING!!!

  3. I made a chocolate mousse cheesecake on my birthday, a week before V day. While my cheesecake was beyond perfect, I wish I could have made yours on actual V day for another dose of cheesecake haha. Your triple chocolate cheesecakes looks fantastic. I can't believe it's a healthier version! Fabulous photos.

  4. Jodi- You're welcome!

    Julia - Too funny! Great minds think alike, I suppose. :) Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog and it's GREAT!

    Memória - Thanks for stopping by! I've been to your blog before and you have incredible recipes. I definitely need to try out the mouse cheesecake. It looks amazing. I kind of messed up the "healthier for you" part by adding the ganache, but it was worth it. :)

  5. Cheesecake in itself is delicious...but TRIPLE chocolate? There's just nothing better! Looks like I know what I'll be making for dessert this weekend :)

  6. Megan - It's so good - and rich! I hope you like it! (I'm eyeballing the chocolate praline cake on your site - WOW does that look amazing!)

  7. I'm so envious of your cake stand! Did you buy it new?? I love your blog and sense of humor!

  8. Marzipanmom-
    My mom got me that as a gift. I'm pretty sure she picked it up at an antique shop - isn't it great?! I just love it.

    Thanks for stopping by and for the compliments!:)


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