Dark chocolate meets fresh raspberries in a flavor explosion!
If you like deep rich flavors without too much sweetness this is the perfect cake for you! Dark chocolate adds a subtle bitterness with a deep chocolate flavor and the slightly tanginess of raspberries add a great contrast!
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.
Bake the cheesecake low and long! That means use a low heat like 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for a longer time. It helps for an even baking without browning the top too much!
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 10 minutes inside the oven. Then transfer it to the kitchen counter. I recommend to cut around the edges with a sharp knife to loosen it and prevent cracks. Let it set for another 30 minutes before cooling it in the fridge for at least 6 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 and prevents if from running down the sides.
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 want. If you still have some ganache left over add another layer and smooth it out. There is nothing better than a thick ganache topping. Just keep in mind to not squish the soft cheesecake when cutting it!
Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Ingredients for an 8 or 9 inch cake
For the OREO crust:
30 OREO cookies (340 g, 12 oz), crumbs
5 tbsp (75 g) melted butter
For the chocolate cheesecake batter:
24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3 tbsp (22 g) special dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup (200g) white sugar
1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp instant coffee
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
12 oz (340g) chocolate, melted
1 cup (120 g) fresh raspberries
For the chocolate ganache:
1 1/3 cups (230 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
3/4 cup (160 ml) heavy cream, hot
Check out my chocolate cheesecake tutorial while this one is in the making
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. To make the OREO crust crush up OREO cookies. You can either blend 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 lined and greased 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 vanilla with instant coffee until fully dissolved. Add to the cream cheese mixture. Mix everything with a low setting of a hand mixer until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add sour cream and heavy cream. Mix it until smooth. Add in eggs and mix them in. Melt chopped chocolate until complelty melted. Let it cool down a bit. Then add melted chocolate and mix until everything is evenly combined. Fill 2/3 of it on top of the pre-baked cookie layer and smooth it out. Add fresh raspberries and cover it with the rest of the batter. 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 300 °F for about 80 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around the edge with a knife to loosen it and prevent cracks. Let it come to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
While the cheesecake is chilling 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. 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 drip to much off the sides of the cake. Pour the ganache on top of the cake and spread it with a spatula to cover the whole surface of the cake. Let it drip on the sides if you want. Decorate the top with fresh raspberries and 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!