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Decadent Chocolate-Espresso Cheesecake

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

 

Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 12 hrs, 40 mins
Yield

Makes 12 servings

Dessert and coffee all in one slice, this over-the-top cheesecake is a surefire crowd-pleaser. To garnish with chocolate shards, melt dark bittersweet chocolate, and spread it in a thin layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let it stand until set, and break into pieces.

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • TOPPING
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Chocolate shavings and shards (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Generously grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Cut parchment paper into a 9-inch circle, and place in bottom of pan; lightly grease parchment paper with cooking spray. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients in a bowl.

  2. Microwave butter and 3 oz. chopped chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave chocolate mixture 1 to 1 1/2 more minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in 1/2 cup each granulated sugar and light brown sugar; cool 10 minutes.

  3. Whisk 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla extract into chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir until well blended. Spread mixture in prepared pan.

  4. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Cool crust in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.

  5. Prepare Filling: Microwave chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave morsels 1 to 1 1/2 more minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Cool 10 minutes. Stir together cream and next 2 ingredients in a 1-cup glass measuring cup until instant espresso dissolves.

  6. Beat cream cheese and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer in a large bowl just until smooth. Add melted chocolate and espresso mixture, and beat at low speed just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yolk disappears after each addition; pour into prepared crust.

  7. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until center of cheesecake jiggles and cheesecake is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides.) Cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

  8. Prepare Topping: Beat 2 cups heavy cream and 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur at medium-high speed until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Dollop on cheesecake.