Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
- Lightly butter bottom and side of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan and line a 9×13-inch (3-L) baking pan with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, lightly butter. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl or small pan. Microwave, uncovered, on medium-high until melted, 1 minute. Or melt over medium heat. Using a fork, stir in crumbs until evenly moist. Turn half into each pan and press onto bottom. Place pans in refrigerator or freezer while preparing filling.
- To keep cake from cracking, place a large broiler pan on bottom rack of oven. Fill to top with hot water. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). For filling, coarsely chop chocolate. Place in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 2 minutes. Stir, then microwave until chocolate is almost melted, 2 more minutes. Remove and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Or place chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir often until almost melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir until smooth.
- Cut cream cheese into small cubes. Place half in a very large bowl. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, occasionally scraping down side of bowl. Add remaining cream cheese. Increase speed to high, then beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar until evenly mixed. Beat in eggs one at a time, occasionally scraping down side of bowl, until evenly mixed. Then beat in vanilla and gradually beat in melted chocolate just until no white streaks remain. Use a spatula to scrape bottom of bowl and make sure all chocolate is evenly mixed. Turn half of filling over crust in springform pan. Turn remaining mixture over crust in baking pan. Smooth top.
- Bake in centre of preheated 325F (160C) oven until filling is almost set when pans are jiggled, about 1 hour. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Cool 2 hours, then refrigerate in pan, covered, at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Before serving, slice cake into wedges. Slice cheesecake in baking pan into 24 squares. Cake and squares will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 4 days or wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze up to 2 months. To serve frozen cheesecake, defrost in refrigerator overnight. Or leave, uncovered, at room temperature 2 to 3 hours to soften before slicing.
Cheesecake is easier to slice when it’s very cold. Dip a long knife in hot water before each slice and wipe knife between slices.