Difficulty Rating: Medium
I have made this fabulous cheesecake at least 20 times. You can tell, because the recipe card for this is heavily splotched with chocolate and butter stains. It is my all-time favorite, all-purpose, go-to dessert. An unusually light chocolate cheesecake in texture, the filling is more like a creamy chocolate mousse than a cheesecake. Perfect for after a big heavy meal, like Christmas dinner. FYI: it also travels well to pot-lucks. Just freeze it for an hour or so, then take it out of the spring-form pan when you get to your destination! If you're going an hour or more away, freeze it solid in the pan (with the whipped cream on top) before leaving. This is a recipe for a small cheesecake--use an 8-inch springform pan, or a 9 inch pie plate. If you're going to a party, double the recipe and use a 10- inch springform or two 9-inch pie plates. Make it the day before you serve it for best results. Oh, and eat all the leftover Oreos. It's manditory.
Note: You can use a pre-made Oreo cookie crust if you like. It's cheating, but you can do it! You will need two of them--this makes a lot of filling.
24 Oreo cookies
1/4 C butter, melted
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 pkg. (8 0z.) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 C light brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 eggs, separated
1 C heavy cream, whupped
For the Crust: Whirl Oreos in a food processor under they look like coffee grounds. Or crush them very fine in a heavy-duty plastic bag with a mallet or a rolling pin. Then add melted butter. Press mixture into springform pan, on the bottom and up the sides at least halfway. If using a pie pan, try to extend Oreo mix over the rim of the dish. Put in the oven about 8 minutes at 350 degrees, cool and refrigerate until using. This makes a very firm crust that will hold up to anything--refrigeration alone doesn't do it.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate over hot, not simmering, water. Set aside to cool, ten minutes. Combine thoroughly cream cheese, 1/2 C sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add chocolate, mix thoroughly. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 C sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Fold chocolate mixture into crust and chill 12 hours or overnight. Serve with whupped cream mounded, or piped in rosettes on top. Chocolate curls, or grated chocolate looks pretty too, when sprinkled on top of the whupped cream!