During the holidays it is nice to have a rich, creamy, yummy cheesecake as a sophisticated dessert to share. I came up with this recipe due to many attempts to create a versatile cheesecake. This recipe comes out creamy and stable every time. Other cheesecakes I have baked through the years seem to be temperamental: they crack, may be too dense, or have a curdled texture if not combined or baked just right. As a busy mom, I needed a recipe that was easy to put together, didn't mind being slightly overbaked or underbaked, and kept a good texture for several days.
For this cheesecake, I also love the taste and texture of a shortbread crust. If you prefer, a graham cracker or other cookie crumb crust may be used. I have never had luck using a springform pan. My preferred method of baking a cheesecake is to use a 10” round cake pan. If the bottom is oiled and then lined with a cut-out round of parchment paper, the cheesecake will not stick. Once baked and cooled, a knife can be taken about the edge of the cake and then inverted – then re-inverted back onto a serving platter. If the parchment sticks to the bottom, it can be removed before re-inverting it onto the platter.
About melting real chocolate: I like melting chocolate slowly. A couple of methods I have had success with is sitting the chocolate, in a glass bowl, either ON or IN a warm oven (not above 110 degrees F). The inside of the oven after it has cooled from being used for baking works very well. A microwave works quick, but be sure to stir well after every thirty seconds. Chocolate, in any form, cannot come into contact with water, so it is important to make sure all bowls and utensils are completely dry. When adding cooled, melted chocolate to any recipe, use a spatula and try to add it completely in one action. If its not added quickly and in it's entire quantity, it can harden before it has been blended into the batter (forming bits of chocolate, instead of one cohesive batter).
Silk Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
3 8-oz packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet real chocolate chips
1/4 cup sour cream
Melt chocolate chips, set aside to cool, but not harden. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In food processor, process cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk and blend well. Scrape down sides and blend again to completely combine. Add entire amount of melted chocolate and process to combine, scraping sides to completely combine. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing and blending in between each egg. Finally, add sour cream and pulse only till combined being careful not to over-beat.
Pour into prepared crust in 10” round cake pan. Sit in a shallow pan of water (if possible) and bake at 325 degrees F for one hour and 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least one hour before running a knife around the edge and inverting to remove from pan.
Shortbread Crust Recipe
4 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
Prepare 10-inch cake pan by lightly oiling bottom of pan, then lining with a cut-out piece of parchment paper, or wax paper. Pulse butter in food processor. Add sugar and egg and process till well blended. Scrape sides, add flour and pulse till blended to look like cornmeal texture. Pour into prepared pan and press over entire bottom.