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Black Magic Cheesecake

Indulge your sweet tooth. Enjoy a deep, dark Black Magic Cheesecake recipe from the companion cookbook.
If you love dark chocolate, this rich cheesecake will send you to the moon! Prepare the main cheesecake up to 3 days in advance. The topping can be added later. 
Serves 12 to 14.
  • 24 chocolate wafer cookies from a 9-ounce package
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 9.7-ounce bar good quality 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or one 10-ounce bag bittersweet chips
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 11/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup good quality unsweetened dark or regular cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 6-ounce bag good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bar good quality bittersweet chocolate for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. For the crust, blend cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Blend in sugar and add melted butter. Process until well-mixed. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom only of prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes, just until set. Remove and set aside to cool.
For the filling, in a metal bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, stir chopped chocolate until just melted and smooth. It should be just pourable, not hot. Remove bowl and set aside. Blend cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder by hand, in mixer or processor until completely smooth. Gently blend in eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the melted chocolate until completely blended. 
Wrap the pan in a double layer of foil to prevent leaking. Pour filling over crust and even out the top. Bake at 350 degrees until center is set and appears dry, about 60 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Cheesecake should pull away from pan; if not, run a knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight, up to 3 days ahead of serving.
For the topping, stir cream, chocolate and sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly until mixture is no longer runny. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Chill at least 1 hour; if keeping longer, cover with foil and refrigerate. 
To serve, release pan sides and transfer cheesecake to a serving platter. Let stand 2 hours before serving. Break chocolate bar into chunks and embed in top of cheesecake for garnish. 
Note: Like most cheesecakes, this one will develop cracks in the top unless you bake it in a water bath. Not a problem, since this has a nice chocolate topping that will hide any imperfections. To bake in a water bath, place a roaster-type pan in the oven and place wrapped cheesecake pan in the center. Pour in a kettle of boiling water to about 1 inch up the sides of the pan and bake as directed. Be very careful when you pull out the oven rack and remove the cheesecake pan from the water bath – the very hot water will slosh a bit.