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Chocolate Cheesecake

by . Featured in FEAST
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Introduction

In the past, I've been apologetic about adulterating your basic cheescake, but I've moved on. This is exceptional: exactly the right balance between satiny sweetness and smooth tang. Regard the glaze as optional: it makes it into more of a dinner party thang, but there is no call to get busy if you'd rather not. A few raspberries alongside would be heavenly, but again, no need to bother adding a single thing.

In the past, I've been apologetic about adulterating your basic cheescake, but I've moved on. This is exceptional: exactly the right balance between satiny sweetness and smooth tang. Regard the glaze as optional: it makes it into more of a dinner party thang, but there is no call to get busy if you'd rather not. A few raspberries alongside would be heavenly, but again, no need to bother adding a single thing.

Chocolate Cheesecake
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: 10-12 slices

Metric Cups

For the Base

  • 125 grams digestive biscuits
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For the Filling

  • 175 grams dark chocolate (chopped small)
  • 500 grams cream cheese
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 150 millilitres sour cream (or just use a 142ml pot)
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa powder (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)

For the Glaze (Optional)

  • 75 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 125 millilitres double cream
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup

For the Base

  • 1⅓ cups graham crackers
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

For the Filling

  • 6⅙ ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped small)
  • 2½ cups cream cheese
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup sour cream (or just use a 142ml pot)
  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)

For the Glaze (Optional)

  • 2⅔ ounces bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup or light corn syrup

Method

  1. To make the base, process the biscuits to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa.
  2. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin. Press the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the tin to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.
  3. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF. Put a kettle on to boil. Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the cream cheese to soften it, and then add the sugar and custard powder, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and the melted chocolate, and mix to a smooth batter.
  5. Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of clingfilm, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
  6. Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just-boiled water to come about halfway up the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.
  7. Peel away the foil and clingfilm wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the fridge once it's no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with clingfilm, overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.
  8. To make the chocolate glaze, very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and then Jackson Pollock it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate. Use the remaining glaze as an accompanying sauce.
  1. To make the base, process the biscuits to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa.
  2. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin. Press the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the tin to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.
  3. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF. Put a kettle on to boil. Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the cream cheese to soften it, and then add the sugar and custard powder, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and the melted chocolate, and mix to a smooth batter.
  5. Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of clingfilm, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
  6. Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just-boiled water to come about halfway up the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.
  7. Peel away the foil and clingfilm wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the fridge once it's no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with clingfilm, overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.
  8. To make the chocolate glaze, very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and then Jackson Pollock it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate. Use the remaining glaze as an accompanying sauce.

Additional Information

If using another brand of cream cheese make sure it is suitable for vegetarians.

If using another brand of cream cheese make sure it is suitable for vegetarians.

Tell us what you think

What 13 Others have said

  • I made it with my husband and it is the best and easiest chocolate cheesecake recipe! It was a big hit at our friend's birthday/baby shower. We will most definitely be making it again :)

    Posted by mylittleredvelvetcupcake on 25th September 2016
  • well, it was delicious!! i'm going to make it for xmas instead of yule log. thinking of adding some mincemeat to the mixture for a xmas tang, any comments on wether this will work gratefully received if not i'll do it and let you know happy xmas baking!!!

    Posted by stellab on 19th December 2015
  • Well, it's out of the oven and set beautifully and smells lovely and choclatey!! so yogurt does work!! yummy!!! going to try some different flavours next time, watch this space!!!

    Posted by stellab on 13th November 2015
  • just made this and it's cooking as i'm typing! didn't have sour cream so used yogurt instead! smells lovely, will let you know how it goes !!

    Posted by stellab on 13th November 2015
  • This cheesecake is divine! I wouldn't class myself as a great baker but this was easily to follow and turned out fantastic! It even won me the office bake off! Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by EmmaCooke1804 on 29th September 2014
  • The recipe you provided was very yummy! I tried it at home. Everyone liked it. Thank you for sharing! 

    Posted by yelkotech on 25th June 2014
  • I was worried as the mixture was so runny, almost watery. But when it's baked & cooled it sets perfectly. I used Dark chocolate digestives as I had no cocoa powder. Delicious!

    Posted by Bashcakes on 18th June 2014
  • made this the other day for a dinner party. I followed the recipe to the letter except i doubled the base as i prefer a thicker base - it turned out great! delicious with a real chocolately flavour. nigella's done it again!

    Posted by bexterms on 2nd May 2014
  • Amazing recipe! I usually switch dark chocolate for orange chocolate and everyone always loves it!

    Posted by lulu5164 on 13th December 2013
  • i have made it several times, really soooo yummy and smooth, thx nigella 4 ur best recipes.

    Posted by Dima_88 on 4th January 2013
  • This cheese cake is fantastic. I made this last week for a family dinner and seeming I had not made a cheese cake before was quite worried. There was no need to be as the recipe was so easy to follow and it tasted amazing :)

    Posted by Claire7188 on 15th October 2012
  • i really love this recipe, because its just so easy to make xx

    Posted by Maleeha on 12th August 2011
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