Chocolate Orange Cheesecake! The name says it all; rich chocolate cheesecake flavored with orange zest and orange liquor and topped with mandarin orange slices.
Chocolate and orange is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. The tart assertive flavor of the oranges cuts perfectly through the rich cheesecake and stands up to the ample chocolate in this cake. This recipe is not shy with the orange flavoring, or with the chocolate. There’s a 1/2 pound of semi-sweet chocolate in this cheesecake!
I do my cheesecakes a little differently than some others. First of all, I don’t bake them in a spring form pan. Almost every spring form pan I’ve ever owned becomes a bit warped over time, making it almost impossible to bake in a water bath without leaking, and I find wrapping the pan in foil tedious and not always water proof.
I use a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper and then use a blow torch (or hot water, but a blow torch is more fun!) to release the cold cake from the pan. I’ve never had a problem with a cake sticking.
Some recipes recommend that you leave the baked cheesecake in the oven as it cools. The reasoning on this is that the cake will cool very slowly so it won’t shrink and crack. You can do that if it works for you.
I don’t like to tie up my oven, especially if I’m doing lots of baking for a holiday or party. So I remove the cake from the oven as soon as it’s done. I allow it to cool or a few minutes, then I run a thin paring knife around the sides of the warm cheesecake to release it from the pan. This will release the sides of the cake from the pan so it doesn’t pull and crack as it cools.
Here are some other tips for cheesecake success–
- To avoid lumps of cream cheese in the batter, make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature before mixing. Thoroughly scrape the bowl after mixing the cheese, after adding the sugar and after each addition of eggs to the batter.
- Do not over mix the batter or mix on high speed, especially after the eggs are added. Over mixing aerates the batter, causing it to puff up and crack as it bakes.
- Do not use the convection setting of your oven. I love convection baking, but not for custards.
- Just like any other custard, a cheesecake needs to bake in a water bath. The water allow the custard to bake at an even temperature. Baking a custard without a bath can cause curdling and puffing, yuk!
- Chill completely in the refrigerator before un-molding.
- Allow the cake to set at room temperature for about 1/2 an hour before serving.
- For neat slices, use a warm knife to slice the cake & wipe the blade with a damp towel between cuts.
Watch this slideshow to see hot to make a delicious Chocolate Orange Cheesecake:
- 2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (20 cookies, 7 oz, 200g)
- 2 tbsp (.5 oz, 15g) all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp (2 oz, 60g) unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Cheesecake Batter
- 1 lb (16 oz, 455g) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 oz, 230g) sour cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Zest from 1 orange, grated fine
- 2 tbsp orange liquor
- 8 oz (230g) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
- Preheat the oven to 325°F convection or 350°F regular. Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan or spring form pan with a parchment paper round
Make the Crust
- Run the Oreo cookies and flour in a food processor or blender to make the crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Dump the crumbs into the cake pan and press into an even layer. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until fragrant. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and turn off the convection.
To make the cheesecake batter
- (If you're using a spring form pan wrap the pan with aluminum foil to cover the bottom and sides.)
- Combine the softened cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed to combine the ingredients, scraping the bowl often to avoid lumps. Once the mix is smooth, add the sour cream, vanilla, orange zest and orange liquor and mix to combine. Mix in the melted chocolate.
- Add the eggs in three stages, scraping well after each addition. Mix just until the eggs are combined, do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan, rap the pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles from the batter. Set the pan into a larger pan. Set the pan into the middle rack of the oven and pour water to come at least 1/2 way up the side of the cheesecake pan.
- Bake until the cake softly jiggles as a mass when the pan is shaken, it will be slightly looser in the middle, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
- Run a thin sharp knife that has been moistened with warm water around the sides of the cake to release it from the pan (this will prevent the cake from cracking while it cools). Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Run a thin, sharp knife between the cake and the pan to release the sides. If using a spring form pan release the pan. If using a regular cake pan, dip the pan briefly in hot water or run a blow torch around the sides of the pan. Flip the cake onto a plate the flip back onto a serving plate.
- Arrange orange slices in a pretty pattern on top of the cake. Warm the marmalade in the microwave, then strain to remove fruit chunks. Brush the orange slices with the marmalade.
- Refrigerate until serving. I like to remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before serving.
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