Easy baked chocolate cheesecake with a smooth chocolate ganache and a crunchy OREO cookie base
Silky smooth chocolate cheesecake, thick dark chocolate ganache and crunchy thin OREO cookie base. This is what dreams are made of (at least mine).
How to make cheesecake crackfree?
Pre-bake the cookie crust on a slightly higher temperature then the cheesecake and let it com to room temperature before adding the cheesecake batter. These steps ensure a stable base for the cheesecake to bake in.
Use a Baine-marie to bake the cheesecake. A water bath helps baking the cheesecake with gentle heat and enough humidity to prevent cracking.
Another important step is to keep the oven door shut. Once the cake finished baking it needs to cool gently. Just turn off the oven and let it cool for at least 1 hour inside the oven. I recommend to let it cool for about 1.5 hours. Then transfer it to the kitchen counter and let it set for another 30 minutes before cooling it in the fridge for another 2 hours or overnight.
More tips needed? read here all my tips for a crackfree and silky smooth cheesecake!
How to get a thick chocolate ganache layer
One of the best thing about this cake is its thick chocolate ganache topping. It is rich and has an intense chocolate flavor. When covering the cheesecake with the chocolate ganache it is important that the ganache does not feel warm. It should have almost room temperature. This helps to let the ganache set quickly after it is applied.
To apply the ganache I recommend layering it. You can first add a thin layer of ganache and let it set. You will get a feeling for its consistency. If it is too runny let it cool for a bit longer. If the ganache is too cold it does not float well. To get the ganache back to a good flooding properties, warm it in the microwave for about 8 seconds and stir it until smooth. Add another layer of ganache on the cake and let it drip from the sides. If you still have some ganache left over add another layer and smooth it out.
OREO Chocolate Cheesecake
Ingredients for a 9 inch cake
For the OREO crust:
3 cups (330 g) OREO cookie crumbs
1/4 cup (57 g) butter, melted
For the chocolate cheesecake batter:
32 oz (900 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (22 g) cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 cup (150g) white sugar
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup (240 g) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
12 oz (340g) chocolate, melted
For the chocolate ganache:
1 1/3 cups (230 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, hot
1/4 cup (60 g) butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. To make the OREO crust you need to make OREO crumbs. You can either blend the OREO cookies in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture in a spring form pan. Bake for about 8 minutes and let come to room temperature.
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Cream the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth for about 3 minutes. Add flour, cocoa powder and both sugars. Mix it until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream and heavy cream. Mix it until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and mix until everything is evenly combined. Fill it on top of the pre-baked cookie layer and make it smooth. Cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter.
Bake the cake in a 1 inch high water bath at 325 °F for about 55 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and let it come to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
While the cheesecake is baking it is time to make the chocolate ganache. For the ganache add chopped dark chocolate in a medium sized bowl and pour hot heavy cream over it. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then whisk it until it comes together. It should have a smooth consistency but not be too runny. Whisk in the butter and mix it until everything comes together. Let it come to room temperature before using.
To decorate the cooled cheesecake take it out of the spring pan and arrange it on a serving plate. The chocolate ganache should have almost room temperature. The colder it is the faster it is going to set on the cake. If it is too warm it might flow to much on the sides of the cake. Spread the ganache on top of the cake and spread it with a spatula to cover the whole surface of the cake. Let it drop on the sides. Decorate the top with chocolate shavings or chocolate ganache swirls like in my Kit Kat cake.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.
The crust is thin and crunchy. If you like a higher and thicker crust use double the amount of OREO cookies.
To ensure a smooth consistency without any lumps of cream cheese the cream cheese has to be at room temperature and mixed well before adding more ingredients. Add just a small amount of liquid ingredients at the beginning and mix it in completely before adding more.
Got lumps of cocoa powder? Push the batter through a metal strainer before filling it on the cooled cookie layer. Works wonders!
tapping the cheesecake on the counter (covered with a kitchen towel) before baking helps releasing air bubbles that might have formed.
Always bake the cheesecake in a water bath. Got water in your layers of aluminum foil? Switch to a silicon mold to cover your spring form pan. Works wonders for me!