Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Let’s face it, cheesecake recipes never come out right on the first try, and require at least 2-3 tests (or in this case, 4) before they are deemed post (and photo) worthy.

And if you’re a household of two people, well, that’s a lot of cheesecake to consume on your own. Even making half-size cheesecakes for the first couple tests, it’s still more than the two of us can (or want to) eat.

Turns out the holiday party season is the perfect time to work on a new cheesecake recipe.

I mean, when else will there be multiple joyous occasions to force full-size cheesecakes on festive party-goers? And not only that, but you’ll be that awesome friend who generously showed up to the party with a decadent triple chocolate cheesecake, rather than the friend that’s secretly using you all as test subjects and human garbage disposals so she doesn’t feel guilty about a good cheesecake going to waste.

Happy holidays, suckers.

Creamy Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

I will say that as a food blogger, there’s one skill that I take extreme pride in, and that is the ability to package and present a cake in such a way that no one will know a slice is missing.

I needed that slice for the photos, you see, otherwise how would you be able to visualize the silky consistency of this divine cake? Not to mention that quality control is absolutely essential to ensure the final product lives up to my stringent standards of cheesecake texture, flavor, and appearance. I wouldn’t dare bring a cake to a party without tasting it first.

The trick to accomplishing such a feat? Pre-slice the whole thing and arrange it on a platter with a little bit of space between each slice to make up for the missing one, and in the process, you’ve made enjoyment of said dessert so much easier for those who might have had one too many glasses of eggnog (Pre-sliced cheescake? What a concept! You’re so thoughtful, Lindsay!)

Trust me, no one will ever know.

Until they read your blog, that is.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

I do hope said party hosts (if you are indeed reading this, you know who you are) forgive this food blogger for her party fouls and honest admissions.

But you have to admit, the cheesecake was pretty darn fantastic, wasn’t it?

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

I set out to make a dark chocolate cheesecake, but quickly learned that it’s much harder to get a divinely light and airy texture in a chocolate cheesecake than, say, a blueberry one. I like my cheesecakes light in texture but not in flavor, and that proved challenging with this recipe.

I eventually dialed back on the chocolate, using unsweetened in place of dark or semisweet for maximum chocolate flavor, but the cheesecake still didn’t meet my standards, its sad sunken sides looked as deflated as I felt after three tries already.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Luckily Alisa came to my rescue, offering a slew of valuable suggestions and advice to turn my sunken shipwreck into a treasure. Trust me, Alicia knows her stuff, baking up hundreds (maybe thousands) of cheesecakes during her 10-year tenure as pastry chef at the Loveless Cafe. When she tells you to ditch the springform pan, you throw it in the garbage and don’t look back. Use a cake pan instead, which will insulate your cheesecake in much the same way a water-bath would (without the leakage). I discovered an amazing cake pan with a convenient removable bottom, that’s truly the best of both a springform and a heavy duty cake pan in one, and makes for near-perfect cheesecakes. You can also use a regular 9-by-3-inch cake pan, but either way, the heavier the better and the more evenly your cheesecake will bake.

A new pan and few tweaks later, and we have ourselves a winner-winner-cheesecake-for-dinner.

The Best and Creamiest Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

The balance of texture and flavor and richness is perfect. For as much chocolate flavor as is packed into this cheesecake, the texture remains astoundingly light and silky smooth, thanks in part to the addition of sour cream to offset the density of the cream cheese as well as impart a delightful tartness that plays off the sweet, rich chocolate in ways you never knew possible.

The “triple” chocolate part comes from the fact that the crust, filling, AND glaze are all intensely chocolate. Technically I could probably call it quadruple since the filling contains both melted chocolate and cocoa powder, but triple just rolls off the tongue a little bit better (clearly I like calling things triple [insert ingredient here]… like triple citrus or triple ginger or triple almond… I’m sensing a pattern).

I topped the cheesecake with a mix of chocolate jimmies, chocolate curls, and edible gold glitter stars. The stars add a glitzy touch that makes for a festive presentation. It is a cheesecake that is just dying to adorn your New Year’s Eve table.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake (12-16 servings)

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours

The perfect chocolate cheesecake, with plenty of dark chocolate flavor and a light and silky texture (thanks in part to the addition of sour cream), and a creamy chocolate ganache glaze on top.

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies with filling removed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:

  • 1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

For Glaze:

  • 5 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (50-70%), finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-by-3-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper; lightly butter parchment. Get out your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream and let come to room temperature for at least and hour before you start baking (this is VERY important to ensuring your cheesecake is smooth and lump-free).
  2. For crust, crush cookies in a food processor until finely ground. You should have just over a cup of cookie crumbs. Add sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Drizzle in melted butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Spread into bottom of prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer (use a tamper or a flat-bottomed glass to help pack the crumbs tightly). Place crust in freezer for 15 to 30 minutes to set while you prepare the filling.
  3. For filling, place cream cheese in bowl of food processor and pulse until smooth. Add sugar and pulse 2-3 times until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt and add to bowl with cream cheese, pulsing once or twice to combine. Add eggs and egg yolk and pulse until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and sour cream and pulse once or twice to blend.
  5. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Microwave on half-power for about 1 minute, stirring after every 15 seconds, until chocolate is mostly melted. Remove from microwave and continue to stir until completely melted and smooth, using the residual heat from the chocolate and the bowl to melt the chocolate the rest of the way.
  6. Slowly drizzle in chocolate through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing as you go, until chocolate is incorporated and no white streaks remain in batter. Remove crust from freezer and pour batter into chilled crust.
  7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until center is set but still barely jiggly. Gently run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release it from the sides (this will help prevent cracking). Turn off oven and prop door open with a wooden spoon; let cheesecake cool in oven for 1 hour, then remove and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Once cool, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake again to release it, then invert onto a plate. The parchment on the bottom should ensure the cake comes out cleanly. Invert again onto a serving plate. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight until firm (you can also glaze the cheesecake before refrigerating overnight, however your glaze will not be as soft or shiny after refrigeration).
  8. To prepare glaze, place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it just starts to bubble around the edges (do not let it boil). Pour cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds, then slowly whisk, working in concentric circles starting in the middle, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Add butter, one cube at a time, slowly whisking until melted and smooth.
  9. Pour glaze over top of cheesecake, spreading to edges with an offset spatula. Decorate as desired. Let set for about 1 hour, or refrigerate for 20 minutes or so until glaze is set.
  10. To slice, run a large knife under hot water for 30 seconds. Wipe try with a clean towel, then slice. Wipe your knife off after each slice, and run it under hot water again after every 2-3 slices. This will ensure your slices are clean and crisp.
  11. Cheesecake will keep, lightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3-5 days. Cheesecake can also be frozen, though I recommend freezing it naked and then glazing before serving for the prettiest presentation.

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24 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. I love your dedication to perfecting your recipes, always! And this one sounds like it was a beast to get right! It’s so gorgeous, and all that chocolate…looks divine!

    I loved your commentary on how to arrange the slices on a platter and bring it to a party so no one will know anything is missing! And in the end, you’re doing everyone a favor by having it pre-sliced! Truly after a few too many eggnogs, if pre-sliced chocolate cheesecake showed up in my kitchen, it would be like manna from heaven!

  2. This is SUCH a beautiful cheesecake. I think I would fall over in delight if someone showed up to my party carrying this!

    Part of being a food blogger that kills me is that sometimes it seems like the only option is eat the food or let it go to waste. This is such a perfect solution, I cant believe I never considered cutting and repackaging a cake like that.

  3. omg this just looks amazing

  4. This chocolate cheesecake looks amazing!

    Paige

  5. Love it so much. Nice photos!

  6. Look so gorgeous and stylish! I absolutely love that.

  7. Wow that looks amazing! A truly decadent dessert, but it looks totally worth it–the calories AND all the recipe testing! :)

  8. Wow, can I ever vouch that this cheesecake tastes even better than it looks! We have enjoyed every morsel of it Lindsay!!!

  9. YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    This needs to make an entrance in my life. Brilliant work as usual, L!

  10. So glad I could help!  That cake might possibly make a chocolate cheesecake fan out of me!

  11. How do you suppose this would work in a 11×2 if one didn’t have a 9×3?

    • I can’t say as I haven’t tried it in that size pan… but I might suggest some basic math to figure out the volume and adjust as needed. If you use the same amount of batter in the larger pan, you’ll end up with a much thinner cheesecake (and will need to reduce the cooking time accordingly to account for that). I have a feeling a larger cheesecake would be more prone to cracking too, so keep an eye on it to be sure it doesn’t overcook.

    • Thanks, I was struggling to source the right pan locally and was hoping to make this this weekend. (No time to order one). I did find something though. Follow up question. Ever tried baking this in a water bath?

    • I hate water baths, they always leak. I bake my cheesecakes in nice thick cake pans (or special cake pans with removable bottoms) instead of springform pans, which are so thin they never bake evenly, hence the need for the water bath to begin with. A nice thick pan will do just as good if not better of a job without the extra hassle.

  12. Ive made it this weekend and its as good as it looks. Does anyone know what to substitute the cocoa powder with if I wanted to make it a lemon cheesecake ie extra flour or nothing? I don’t want the texture to change 

  13. Hi, I’m going to make this cheesecake this weekend. I’d really like to decorate with the chocolate curls and jimmies like you did but I don’t see instructions on how to do the curls. How did you make those??

  14. Need to make this! Where are those gorgeous plates from? 

  15. Can u double the recipe to make 2 9″ cheesecakes?

  16. I made this for my husband’s and my birthdays and it was fantastic – very rich and chocolatey without being too sweet. As with all my cheesecakes, I used a springform pan (lined with parchment paper) and put the water bath on the shelf below in my small convection oven. I undercooked it slightly, so the center stick to the plate when turning it out, but I just spooned it back in, smoothed it out and by the time it had been refrigerated and topped, it was unnoticeable.
    Thank you for a delectable recipe!

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