The cheesecake, a flourless cake that once required great care to bake is now a no-brainer these days. In fact, there are variations to this dessert that don't require baking at all; the batter requires no eggs and can be chilled in a refrigerator to be served cold for later instead. Hence, "super simple." I've already shared such a recipe a while back and this variation for a Super Simple Chocolate Cheesecake is awfully similar to that one albeit a couple of changes.

Besides the inclusion of real chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet) in the batter, this cheesecake also uses chocolate in its crust. A popularly simple way of doing this is to substitute Oreo cookies for the Graham crackers in the mix. Sure, Graham crackers or even biscuits will do but the Oreo cookies lend so much more to the chocolate cheesecake.

Another change is the exclusion of sweetened condensed milk.

This was a key ingredient in the previous recipe as it easily replaced both the sweetener and thickener: sugar and egg yolks respectively. However, the problem with the sweetened condensed milk is that it's a little too rich to the taste. Throw that in with the already rich chocolate and you'll end up with an overpowering cheesecake.

So to solve this problem, I went back to using regular sugar for sweetening the cheesecake and relied on just the chocolate for thickening it.

This meant I had to scale back on the sugar a bit since bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate already contains the stuff. Now, in order to incorporate the chocolate into the batter, its consistency had to be similar to the sweetened condensed milk. Fortunately, this is done easily by melting it down using boiled heavy cream and stirring them together. In other words, I made a ganache. This is the simplest dessert sauce recipe anyone can make and simply needs to be folded into the batter.

The recipe

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (200 g) Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick (56 g) unsalted butter, melted

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup (233 g) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, boiled

Batter Ingredients:

  • 2 packs (480 g each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The directions

  1. Combine the Oreo cookies and brown sugar in a food processor and grind until fine. While grinding, slowly pour in the melted butter and stop when the mix to turn mealy.
  2. Transfer the crust mix to a greased 9-inch springform pan and smooth the surface flat using a spoon. Set aside.
  3. Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the heat into the bowl and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until all of the chocolate melts and is fully combined. Let the ganache cool down.
  4. Divide the ganache among two bowls. Seal and chill one of the bowls in the refrigerator for later use and set the other one aside.
  5. Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the zest and vanilla extract and beat again until fully combined.
  6. Gradually fold the warm ganache into the batter in batches until fully combined. Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat the heavy cream.
  7. Pour the batter over the crust and smooth the surface with a spoon. Seal the opening of the pan with plastic wrap and chill the cheesecake in the freezer for an hour to set before glazing.
  8. Pour the ganache slowly over the cheesecake's surface and gently smooth down with a spoon. Reseal the cheesecake and chill it in the refrigerator.
  9. When it's time to serve, place the springform pan onto a cake stand or flat surface and remove the ring from around the cheesecake. Slice and serve.

Serves: 12 slices

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