Difficulty Rating: Medium
As one person said after taking a bite of this cheesecake last night, "This is a WOW!". It really is. The combination of dark chocolate cheesecake layered with vanilla cheesecake is a winning one. It sort of reminds me of the "Tuxedo" cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory restaurant. The original recipe in Women's Day magazine, September 1994, had a different crust. I substituted a cookie crust and it tasted just as good, and was a whole lot easier.Makes 1 9-inch cheesecake in a spring-form pan, or two small (8") pies.
1 lb. package oreo cookies, crushed fine in the food processor (makes 1 1/4 C chocolate crumbs)
1/3 C butter, melted
5 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/4 C water.
3 pkg.s (8 oz. each) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Garnish: 1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8-inch springform pan ready. Process about 3/4 package Oreos until finely ground. Add melted butter and process a couple of minutes more. Press into the bottom and up 2 inches of the sides. Bake 10 minutes and let cool.
Melt semisweet chocolate with 1/4 C water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. or, microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes in microwave safe 2- cup measure. Keep warm. Then beat cream cheese in a large bowl with electric mixer until it begins to smooth out. Scrape bowl and beaters well with rubber spatula. Add sugar gradually, beating until just smooth. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating just until mixed. Set aside 1 cup batter in a small bowl. Spoon remainder of vanilla batter into cooled crust . Stir warm chocolate into reserved batter. Spoon out chocolate batter evenly on top of the vanilla.
Bake one hour and 10 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn off the oven and leave it inside 10 more minutes as the oven cools. Take out of the oven, put pan on a rack and cool. Take a mixing bowl and invert over the top of pan, so as to slow down cooling. This hopefully will prevent large cracks which occur when a hot cheesecake hits cold air. After it's cooled cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cake can be refrigerated up to 4 days. Spoon a mound of whipped cream on the top and put on the buffet table, OR serve slices with piped whipped cream on the side! But you gotta have creammmmm!