I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake…unless it involves chocolate. Who am I kidding? I’m not a huge fan of anything unless it involves chocolate. This marbled cheesecake is the best of both cheesecake worlds with creamy, traditional cheesecake filling and a decadent chocolate version swirled together over a chocolate cookie crumb crust.
If you’re one of those “cheesecake is too rich for me” people, then I just don’t know what to do with you. I feel the addition of chocolate to this cheesecake deepens the flavor and makes it less cloyingly sweet than those typical gloppy cherry covered numbers.
Despite the fact that you have to essentially make two different cheesecake batters, this really isn’t too difficult. Once you have your batters ready, you just plop them along the cookie crust, alternating them like a checkerboard until the pan is full. Then you oh so delicately drag a knife through the batters to swirl them into a marbleized pattern. I smooshed the top a little for an extra marbleized look.
Oh, and the top will most likely crack. Get over it. Cheesecakes crack. The world’s an imperfect place.
Chocolate Marbleized Cheesecake
Recipe from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts
For the Crust:
4 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers work great — they’re sneakily stocked in the baking aisle, not the cookie aisle, of most grocery stores)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter, melted
Separate the sides from the bottom of an 8 x 2 1/2- or 3-inch spring-form cake pan. Butter the sides only. (If the bottom is not buttered, the finished cake can be transferred easily to a cake plate.) Then replace the bottom in the pan and set aside.
The cookies must be ground to crumbs. Either break them into pieces and grind them all at once in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or grind the pieces about half at a time in a blender, or place them in a heavy plastic bag and pound and roll them with a rolling pin until they are fine. You should have 1 cup of crumbs.
In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter to the crumbs and stir well with a rubber spatula, pressing against the mixture with the spatula until the butter is evenly distributed. You will think there is not enough butter, but do not add more — the mixture should be dry and crumbly.
Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. With your fingertips, distribute it evenly over the bottom of the pan and then press it firmly to make a smooth, compact layer on the bottom only. Refrigerate.
For the cheesecake mixtures:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (graded large)
2 cups sour cream
Pinch of salt
Adjust rack one-third up from bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Break up the chocolate and place it in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cover until partially melted, then uncover and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside, uncovered, to cool slightly.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until very smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat to mix. Add the eggs one at a time,scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating until smooth after each addition. Then add 1 1/2 cups (reserve remaining 1/2 cup) of the sour cream and the salt and beat until smooth.
Remove from the mixer and set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture.
In the small bowl of the mixer (you can use the same beaters) mix the melted chocolate with the reserved 1/2 cup sour cream; then add the reserved 1 1/2 cups of plain cheesecake mixture and beat until smooth.
Place the two batters, alternating colors, by spoonfuls over the chilled crust in the pan; use large rather than small spoonfuls (or pour the batters) — you will have roughly three varicolored layers. But don’t worry about making it perfect — it will all be marbleized together!
Then use the face side (not the edge) of a small, thin, metal spatula or a table knife to marbleize the mixtures. Cut down through the batters and use the spatula or knife to swirl the batter into large spirals and/or zig-zags and form an attractive pattern. But do not overdo it or you will lose the contrast between the two batters.
Briskly rotate the pan a bit first in one direction, then the other, to level the top of the cheesecake mixtures.
Bake for 30 minutes. It will seem soft but it is done. Remove to a rack and let stand to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for at least 5 or 6 hours or longer (great for making the day before and chilling it over night).
This should be cold when it is served. It will become firm when adequately chilled. When just right it should be slightly soft and custardlike in the middle.