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Death By Chocolate

December 11, 2009

If you wish any food-related harm to befall any of your mortal enemies, then this recipe is for you.  I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and some of my relatives are still cursing my name.  This is one of the most sinfully rich and delicious desserts I’ve ever had, and apparently my family and neighbors agree.  I usually don’t bake, since it requires exact measurements and cooking times and science and math and other things I don’t like to mix with my culinary activities.  But this is well worth the time and effort.  A “spring form” pan is necessary – I had to look up what it was.  I was able to borrow one from a friend, but they’re only around $15 or $20 if you like to bake lots of cakes and such…it’s a useful tool for such creations.  So consider yourselves warned – if you can eat more than a couple of bites at a time, you should enter a food-eating contest.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Crumb Crust:

1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) finely ground chocolate wafers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter spring form pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Cheesecake:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make crumb crust as directed in separate recipe, using chocolate wafer cookies instead of graham crackers.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Remove from heat and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 55 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on a rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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