It really annoys me that I didn’t take a picture of this lovely cake. Note to self: the camera doesn’t work without a memory card. So above is a borrowed picture.
I always trust The Hummingbird Bakery’s recipes, and especially their first book is utterly brilliant, but I still wasn’t sure if I needed a chocolate cheesecake in my life and repertoar. But it turns out I did. I see this cheesecake more as a delicious chocolate cake that happens to be a cheesecake then just a cheesecake. The cream cheese makes it creamy yet still light in texture but the flavour focus is the chocolate, so it is important to choose a good quality chocolate for this. I don’t like mine too bitter so 60-70% cocoa solids is perfect for me.
Chocolate cheesecake, serves 8-10
Adapted from the The Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe.
200 g digestives
2 tbsp cocoa
150 g butter, melted
900 g full-fat Philadelphia
190 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
200 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 150C. Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor with the cocoa powder. Process until finely ground. Add the butter and mix until you have the consistency of wet sand. Press the mixture into the base of a round springform (about 20 cm Ø), using the back of a spoon works well. Refrigerate while you make the topping.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric whisk on slow speed until you get a very smooth, thick mixture. Add one egg at a time while still mixing. Scrape down the sides in between.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Let it cool a little. Spoon a little of the cream cheese mixture into the melted chocolate, stir to mix then add a little more. This will even out the temperatures of the two mixtures. Eventually you can stir all the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined.
Pour the mixture onto the cold base. Cover the base and sides of the tin with tin foil and put it inside a deep baking tray and and fill with water until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the cake tin. Bake for 40 -50 minutes, checking regularly after 40 minutes. Don’t overcook, it should be wobbly in the centre. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then cover and refridgerate overnight before serving.