Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces semisweet (53% or 62%) chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chips)
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a greased* 8-inch springform pan.** Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil to make it water-proof. Set foil-wrapped pan inside a large roasting pan.
2. Start making the cheesecake filling by first melting the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (1 minute on HI). When melted, stir until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until creamy. (An electric mixer on low speed can be used, but it tends to incorporate air into the batter which increases the risk of cracking on top after or during baking.) Add eggs one at a time, stirring gently after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Add 3 cups of the cheesecake mixture to the melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Dollop both kinds of batter over prepared crust. Using a knife, gently swirl batters together until marbelized, being careful not to over-mix.
5. Transfer to an oven which has been preheated to 325 degrees. Pour hot water into the roasting pan, to come halfway up the side of the springform pan.***
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes, or until set. Remove cheesecake from water and remove foil. Loosen the sides of the springform and cool cake on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight before serving. When cutting cheesecake, use a sharp knife and wash knife between cutting each slice
*Or, instead of greasing your pan, line it with parchment paper that has been cut in the shape of the pan and grease only the sides of your pan.
**Cover hand with plastic wrap to keep crumbs from sticking to your hand, or use a spatula to press down.
***The hot water bath surrounding this cheesecake gives it a perfectly creamy texture and the edges are as rich and moist as the very middle