Chocolate Cheesecake

Total Time:
13 hr 25 min
25 min
12 hr
1 hr

10 to 12 servings

  • Cheesecake base:
  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • Cheesecake filling:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
  • 2 1/2 cups cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • Sauce:
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dark corn syrup
  • Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.

Put a kettle on to boil.

Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese to soften it, then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.

Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.

Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.

Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

To make the chocolate sauce: very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and pour it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate.

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    74 Reviews
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    This is my go-to cheesecake recipe. Have made it dozens of times, love it!
    Excellent. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. 
    Tip: Put cling wrap and foil on pan bottom BEFORE pressing the crust in. Super easy.
    I made it with melting the chocolate it was grainy but when it went in the oven it was smooth and worked well. But the cheesecake was super yummy! I didn't topped with the drizzle shown on the picture.
    I've used this recipe at least a dozen times and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I have a few slight variations of this recipe and they all turn out wonderfully. Baking this to my taste (chocolate fiend, I tend to use more cocoa and butter in the crust. I've served this at social functions and several veteran's events, sticking to the original recipe for caution, and have never had a single complaint. One tip: Use a counter-top mixer, whip the batter well, scrape the bowl often and *allow the larger bubbles to settle out*. Thank you, Mrs. Lawson, for this delicious recipe.
    I honestly don't understand any negative reviews - this cheesecake recipe is all that you could ask for! The smooth, silky texture is perfect and the rich chocolate flavor decadent. I had to play with the sauce portion - adding a few more melted chocolate chips to thicken it a bit. I ended up thickening it a little too much, so I'm not sure it was necessary. I also substituted cornstarch for the "custard powder," and it worked really well.
    good crust, good flavor,great chocolate sauce on top. No cracks, no problem with the water bath. My problem was that it came out dry. I had it in for an hour.
     Maybe needs the lessser end of the time scale? I did use a 10" springform pan.
    Im not into cheesecake but my wife and inlaws like it so i made it for them they loved it. I used jello vanilla instant pudding instead of the custard powder.
    this was fun to make & looked & tasted super, I used vanilla jello powder as I had it on hand, instead of the custard powder.. I will make it again next week for our teacher luncheon 
    I have baked many cheesecakes, so I am not a novice. I selected this recipe mainly for the high reviews. I followed the recipe exactly as written, including buying the custard powder from the specialty food section in my grocery store. It did not turn out well at all. It tasted eggy, and the egg taste overpowered the chocolate taste. I could not eat it. Perhaps the addition of vanilla and more sugar would help? I will not make this recipe again.
    When I was reading this recipe I was intimdated by the water bath because I have never used this process before. Needless to say this recipe was easy peasy, and absolutely DELICIOUS! Thanks Nigella! <3
    Easy, tasty, pretty, yummy.... One of the easiest cheesecakes I've baked - had no cracking!
    Easy and delicious.
     Followed directions, could not believe how tasty it was!
    This was my first cheesecake attempt. The crust was easy and worked very well. Cheesecake itself seemed to take a little longer to bake, but that might have been my oven. Final result seemed to be loved by everyone, though I can't say for myself because it was all gone before I got to it! :
    This was great! Silky & smooth choclate flavor.  
    Used cornstarch & vanilla for the powder.... Displayed atop a cakestand with peppermints. Willl definately do again!  
    I followed the recipe to a tee, but the result was horrible. I couldnt even finish my piece. And to be honest it only deserves a half star.
    This was the first time ever making cheesecake of any kind and it came out perfectly! What a great recipe! I used dark chocolate cocoa powder in the crust and added about 2 tablespoons of sugar to give it a bit more sweetness. I also used Jello Pudding mix in replace of the custard powder. Works just the same. Excellent cheesecake! This recipe is a keeper!
    I have made this cheesecake several times, add in cornstarch in place of the custard powder. This taste better than the directions she gives on the video if you don't have custard powder. The amount of chocolate sauce you can cut in half, its too much chocolate to add on top of the already rich chocolate cheesecake. This is the best chocolate cheesecake I have ever made, I have tried several different recipes off the Food Network.
    i love it and my children also love it.
    The recipe is wonderful. I doubled it (it barely fit in my KA mixer) and neither cheesecake had a crack in sight. The flavor was rich. I'll definitely make again. I had custard powder, so no substitutions were made.
    Excellent Recipe. Easy and almost foolproof. I live in the U.S. and substituted cornstarch for custard powder and got terrific results. Custard powder is hard to find here. It got raves at at family Thanksgiving. I have made it several times now, with equal results.
    I have never made a cheesecake before and I wanted to make a chocolate cheesecake for my husband for Valentines Day. So Sunday night I attempted to make my first one. I used another recipe and it was a total disaster!!! The crust wouldn't stick and was crumbling, the cheesecake cracked like to tomorrow and then sank when I took it out of the oven. I like to think of myself as a pretty good baker and could not figure out what I did wrong. So the next day I was bound and determind to make it. I found this recipe and it was a breeze!!! Thank God for Nigella. The cheesecake came out perfect, it actually looked like I bought it from a bakery and I think it's the best cheesecake I have ever had.Like alot of other people I used cornstarch instead of custard powder. I wish it was alittle thicker, does anyone know if it would work if I doubled the recipe???
    I've been making this fabulous cheesecake for the past several winter holiday seasons. It turns out delicious every time, and is always the family hit. I use Instant Vanilla pudding rather than Custard powder- and it works just fine.
    I used cornstarch instead of custard powder and it turned out great! The cheesecake is super rich but tastes amazing.  
    Also, it was in the oven for 1 cracks or burns.
    I've made this cheesecake several times, and it's always a favorite with my family. My mom even requested one for her birthday cake. I only had to make one change: I used cornstarch instead of custard powder, and it turned out perfectly.
    Wonderful taste and consistency. Not too sweet its just right. I used a steam bath and for the first time it didnt crack
    This was the first cheesecake I ever made. I was tempted to try one less tedious with the instructions, but the good reviews convinced me this was the was to go for my partner's birthday. One of our party guests previously worked at a cheesecake cafe, and she said this was the best cheesecake she ever tasted. 
    I used an oreo crust rather than the graham cracker with cocoa crust. I also substituted 1Tbsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. powdered sugar for the custard powder. Instead of super fine sugar, I used powdered sugar loosely packed. And I opted a 10 in. pan (the smallest I had) and baked it for 40 minutes. Otherwise, I followed the instructions exactly. The cake came out perfectly.
    Custard powder...What is it and where can one purchase it?
    I am a little timid about using this recipe. Is it too chocolately and rich? Would white chocolate make it lighter?
    I made this and everyone absloutly loved it! They even though it was bakery quality! Thanks Nigella you made me look like a pro!
      Also you can subsitute custard powder for cornstarch which is what i did... but if you do that be sure to add some vanilla but if you insist on the custard powder i have seen it at walmart
    I made a few changes to this cheesecake to make it lighter. I used fat free cream cheese and reduced fat sour cream. So I think I cut the calories in half. It was very mild tasting with honestly not a ton of the usual creamy texture and flavor you expect with a cheesecake but it came out good. I knew that using fat free would not be as good. The chocolate sauce absolutely saved the entire thing! I would recommend this recipe and tell you that if you're watching your waistline to go ahead and try the fat-free version. It's mild but good. I normally prefer a plain vanilla chessecake with cherries on top with all of the loaded fat and everything b/c really when you're eating cheesecake it should be heaven and a fat-free version just won't measure up there. So if you're in the mood or have company coming: give 'em the good stuff: make Barefoot Contessa's cheesecake: you won't be disappointed with that one. It will disappear in minutes!
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