This is a fail-safe chocolate cheesecake recipe that will become your go-to recipe when you need that chocolate cheesecake fix. Top with fresh fruit, if desired - but chocolate die-hards will want to enjoy this as-is!
Don't overbake: While it may look underdone, a cheesecake is actually done when the centre is still wobbly. Residual heat 'carries over' and the centre continues to cook once out of the oven.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool on a rack, or simply leave the oven door closed, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool undisturbed for at least 1 hour. This helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the centre. After chilling, the once-wobbly centre should firm up beautifully!
Bake in a water bath: The most effective way to bake a cheesecake evenly without browning the top is to bake in a water bath. Since water evaporates at boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 100C, no matter the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the centre, which can cause it to sink and crack.
Mixing matters: Make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake. If you do end up with lumps in the batter, give it a quick spin in the food processor for silky smooth results.
Don't forget to chill: A cheesecake needs several hours to chill and set, making it a perfect make-ahead dessert.
For more easy tips on how to make a perfect cheesecake, check out our Perfect cheesecake tips how-to guide.
I would describe this as a chocolate cheescake/ torte. Its not a standard cheesecake probably from the flour in it. Also you can taste the sour cream which gives it that yogurty tang. Beware......a very rich cake! - 29 May 2011
This cheesecake is very good and very smooth. My first couple of attempts gave the usual top cracks. I've been able to make a couple now without problems here is my approach. When beating the cream cheese I stop frequently and place the stainless steel bowl into a sink of hot water to help soften the cream cheese so that I don't have to beat it too much. I spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray above the crust line. This keeps the cheese cake from sticking to the sides while cooling and shrinking. I tried to seal up my spring form pans but I was never able to keep the water from leaking in so I've never attempted a standard water bath. I do fill a small roasing pan with hot water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven...the idea here is to try and keep the moisture high in the oven. The recipe calls for 325F. I have a convection oven and I've had really good success at 290F for 1 hour. To help control the cooling rate I switch the oven off at 1 hour and leave the door closed. After an hour of sitting there, I will open the oven door a crack to help cool some more. - 11 Mar 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Sinfully rich and delicious. Chocoholics beware of this one! Made the recipe exactly as described, no alterations. To make sure that the cheesecake doesn't crack during cooking, make sure oven isn't hotter than recipe calls for. If your oven tends to run hot, then turn it down 5 to 10 degrees. Turn oven off exactly as recipe describes. Also consider adding an ice cube to the bottom of the oven (I carefully toss one in before I put in the cheesecake) to add humidity. - 19 Jul 2002 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)