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:
You might also like: