Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
This Dark Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is rich, creamy and full of decadent dark chocolate! It’s topped with a dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate ganache swirls for the ultimate chocolate cheesecake!
This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter, but all opinions are my own.
Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
This cheesecake is hands down the best cheesecake for dark chocolate lovers! It’s rich, creamy and has amazing flavor that comes from a combination of both cocoa powder and melted chocolate – the best of both worlds!
Using melted chocolate lends the cheesecake a super creamy texture and lovely richness, while the cocoa really makes the chocolate pop. They both work together to truly take the chocolate in this one over the top. One without the other just isn’t the same.
To finish it off and give it a look that’s just as rich as it’s insides, it’s topped with chocolate ganache. There’s a layer spread on top, as well as some piped around the edges. Add to that some pieces of dark chocolate and some chocolate shavings and this cheesecake is one major showstopper – both in look and taste! Let’s talk about how to make this beauty.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
The first thing you’ll want to do is make your chocolate crust. Crush up your cookies, combine the crumbs with some butter, press it into your pan and pre-bake it. It won’t surprise you to hear that I used my favorite Challenge Butter in this crust. High quality ingredients are the best way to go, even in the crust and this butter is just that. It has no added hormones, artificial flavors or fillers, which I’m a big fan of.
Next up is the filling. Begin by combining the cream cheese, sugar and dark cocoa powder and mix on low speed until well combined and smooth. Again, Challenge Dairy comes through with their cream cheese. It’s as close to homemade as it gets, with nothing artificial and no added hormones. Plus, it’s super creamy and perfect as the base of a rich and creamy cheesecake filling.
Once everything is combined, add the sour cream and vanilla extract.
The next step is to add the melted chocolate. Naturally the chocolate is going to be warmer than the cream cheese mixture. If you’re cold ingredients are added at room temperature and you give your chocolate a few minutes to cool off a bit, the temperature difference shouldn’t be too bad. Still, you want to add your melted chocolate slowly – in three parts – so that it can incorporate evenly and not leave you with lumps from combining a warmer chocolate with a cooler filling.
Finally, you’ll mix in your eggs one at a time.
Be sure you’re mixing things on low speed. The enemy of a cheesecake is cracks and air bubbles from mixing on high speed can cause them.
Bake the cheesecake in a water bath for a little over an hour, then begin the slow cooling process. This process helps to cool the cheesecake slowly so that it doesn’t crack, while also allowing it to finish cooking. Once done, refrigerate until firm.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Ganache
When your cheesecake is cooled, the real fun of decorating it begins. You’ll make two batches of chocolate ganache. One is a touch softer than the other, but basically quite similar. The first batch you’ll set aside to cool to room temperature for piping onto the cheesecake. The second batch will be spread out on top of the cheesecake.
To pipe the ganache onto the cheesecake, you’ll just want to make sure that it’s not too soft to hold it’s shape and not too firm to be able to pipe. In our home, room temperature was perfect. If you aren’t sure if your ganache is the right temperature, you can always test it by adding some to a piping bag and testing some piping on a plate. If it’s too firm, you could heat it up a smidge. If it’s too soft, let it continue to cool a bit (or even pop it in the fridge for a few minutes).
After adding the piping, add a few pieces of a dark chocolate bar between the swirls and a little shaved chocolate and you have yourself a great tasting cheesecake that will wow your friends and family!
More great cheesecake recipes to try:
Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
This Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is rich, creamy and full of decadent dark chocolate! It’s topped with a dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate ganache swirls for the ultimate chocolate cheesecake!
- Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 35 Oreos (3 cups |403g Oreo crumbs)
- 4 tbsp (56g) Challenge Butter, melted (salted or unsalted is fine)
- 24 oz (678g) Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (207g) sugar
- 6 tbsp (43g) dark cocoa powder
- 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz | 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 4 eggs, room temperature
Dark Chocolate Ganache Swirls
- 9 oz (254g | 1 1/2 cups) dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup (ml) heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate Bar
Dark Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 4 oz (113g | 2/3 cup) dark chocolate chips
- 6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.
1. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa on low speed until well completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. Add the melted chocolate in three parts, stirring until combined after each. Adding it in parts helps ensure that it incorporates evenly and helps prevent clumping.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Pour the cheesecake batter evenly into the crust.
7. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour 5-10 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
9. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
10. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
11. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
12. A couple hours before you’re ready to add the cheesecake topping, make the chocolate ganache for the swirls. Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
13. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
14. Allow the ganache to sit and cool to room temperature, which should be the right consistency for piping. You can refrigerate it until it’s cold and firm, but then you will need to heat it for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave and stir it so that it’s soft enough to pipe, but still stiff enough to hold its shape.
15. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
16. For the chocolate ganache topping, put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
17. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
18. Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer. Allow to firm up a bit.
19. Add the chocolate ganache for the swirls to a piping bag fitted with a closed star piping tip and pipe swirls around the outer edge of the cheesecake. Leave a little space between swirls to add chocolate triangles.
20. Cut the chocolate bar into triangles and add to the cheesecake. Use remaining chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler to create little chocolate shavings over the top of the cheesecake.
21. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store well covered. Cheesecake is best for 3-4 days.
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