- For crust, butter or oil sides of a 9-in. (23-cm) or 10-in. (25-cm) springform pan. Wrap pan with foil, over bottom and sides, making sure it comes to the top edge so water from the water bath in step 3 won’t leak in. Double wrap if necessary. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir chocolate baking crumbs with sugar, then stir in butter. Press mixture onto bottom of pan. Refrigerate while preparing cheesecake filling.
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Put a kettle of water on. Finely chop chocolate and place in microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 2 min or until almost melted, stirring halfway through. Remove from microwave and stir until completely melted. Set aside. Place cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in sour cream, sugar, flour and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Beat in cooled chocolate. Pour onto chilled crust.
- Place wrapped springform pan in a broiler pan or shallow-sided roasting pan. Place in centre of preheated oven. Pour enough boiling water into broiler pan to come about 1 in. (2.5 cm) up side of foil-wrapped springform pan.
- Bake until filling is almost set when springform pan is jiggled, about 40 to 60 min. Remove broiler pan to a rack. Run a knife around inside of cake pan to help prevent cracking. Let stand until water cools, about 30 min.
- Remove pan from water. Discard foil. Cool completely, then cover pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, 4 hours. Remove cake from pan. If making ahead, refrigerate up to 3 days. Or over-wrap with foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
- For glaze, finely chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil, in a saucepan on the stovetop or in a bowl in the microwave. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Add honey. Stir just until chocolate is melted and evenly mixed. Just before serving, pour and spread glaze over cake. Top with assorted berries and chocolate curls.
Melt 4 oz (112 g) chopped milk, dark or white chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water. Using a spatula, thinly spread melted chocolate into a rectangular shape on the back of a baking sheet. Refrigerate so chocolate can harden slightly. Check often; it’s ready when it’s no longer shiny, but still malleable. Using a palette knife (a bendable metal spatula), hold both ends so metal blade is horizontally across chocolate in front of you. Press into the chocolate, scraping and pulling in one motion toward you, to form curls. The shape of the curl will depend on the angle of the blade and the temperature of the chocolate. If it sticks and doesn’t scrape at all, it is too soft. If it breaks into shards, it’s too hard. If you don’t get curls the first time, just re-melt and try again. Refrigerate curls in an airtight container until firm, or up to 3 days.
Fruit cooked in a light simple syrup is a great way to dress up any dessert. We chose kumquats, small oval-shaped citrus fruit. Candy the edible peel and flesh for a sweet and tangy topper. It’s easier than you’d think: Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Stir 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar with 1 cup (250 mL) water in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until it’s syrupy, about 5 min. Slice 1/4 lb (125 g) unpeeled kumquats in half lengthwise, or crosswise into rounds. Add to boiling water. Boil for 3 min. Drain, then plunge into ice-cold water. Drain and add to syrup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly translucent, 12 more min. Cool. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Remove kumquats from syrup before using.