While I used a combination of dark and milk chocolate in the filling, you can use all dark chocolate, if preferred. Alternately replace the milk chocolate with a flavoured variety. On one occasion, when making this cheesecake, I used dark and white chocolate for the filling (75% dark, 25% white) and made the Ganache topping with Green and Blacks dark milk chocolate – this was my favourite as I find most white chocolate just a little too sweet.
200 grams shortbread biscuit crumbs and 40 grams unsalted butter
200 grams digestive biscuit crumbs and 100 grams unsalted butter
1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
250 grams Green and Blacks dark cooks chocolate – chopped
250 grams Green and Blacks milk cooks chocolate – chopped
500 grams crème fraîche
500 grams full fat cream cheese
1 tbsp natural vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (or amount to taste)
6 large fresh eggs – room temperature
500 grams soured cream
55 grams unrefined caster sugar
160 grams double cream
80 grams Green and Blacks white cooks chocolate – c hopped
1 tsp Cognac or brandy (optional)
- Brush a 25 cm spring form cake tin with melted butter, place a circle of greaseproof paper over the spring form base, fit the sides over the paper, brush the paper with melted butter. Wrap the tin in a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil, scrunch up the sides to just below the rim, seal – take care not to damage the foil as this will keep the cheesecake dry when in the water bath.
- Place a folded cotton tea towel into a deep roasting tin.
- Melt the butter with the vanilla, then mix with the biscuit crumbs, transfer to the prepared tin, lightly pressing into the base; cover and chill in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 160ºC (320ºF, gas mark 2 to 3).
- Melt the dark and milk chocolate over a saucepan of barely simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water. When melted, stir until smooth and leave to cool a little then mix in the crème fraîche.
- Stir the cream cheese until smooth, add the vanilla and beat until well blended.
- Add the eggs – one by one – beating well between each addition.
- When combined, stir in the chocolate mixture and soured cream; spoon over the biscuit base.
- Place into a deep roasting tin, put into the oven and very carefully pour in the freshly boiled water to come half way up the springform tin side.
- Bake for approx. 75 minutes in a preheated oven – or until the top begins to change colour.
- Turn off the oven, remove from the roasting tin and place on the oven shelf, leave in the oven with the door ajar until the oven is cold then place the tin onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbles appear around the outside of the pan, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and liqueur (if using), stir with a whisk until smooth.
- Release and remove the spring form side and slide the cheesecake off the baking paper onto a serving plate; using an offset spatula, drizzle the ganache over the filling starting at the centre of the cake and working outwards and allowing the ganache to run down the side of the cheesecake.
- Serve with fresh berries.