….makes one 9 inch cake/serves 12-14
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (regular or chocolate, your choice).
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
5 (8-ounce) packages plain cream cheese (room temperature)
1 and ½ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (not artificial flavor)
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 large eggs (room temperature)
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons Kahlua
3 cup fudge sauce, optional
Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
To make crust:
Beat the cream cheese on medium high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a flat paddle. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape the inside surface of the bowl. Beat 30 additional seconds. Add the flour and ix to incorporate. Reduce the speed to low, add the eggs one at a times and mix to incorporate after each addition. Do not over mix the batter once the eggs have been added.
Divide the batter evenly into 3 separate bowls, about 2 and ½ cups each, or you can measure each bowl if you have a kitchen scale. Add the chopped pecans and chocolate chips to one bowl and mix to incorporate. Pour this batter over the crust layer in the springform pan and spread evenly. Place the pan in the freezer for 60 to 70 minutes or until the cheesecake layer is firm.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Add the melted chocolate and Kahlua to the second bowl of batter and beat until evenly incorporated. Pour this batter over the pecan layer and spread into an even layer.
Return the pan to the freezer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until firm. Pour the remaining vanilla batter over the chocolate layer and spread into an even layer.
Wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil and place the pan in a large roasting pan. Place the pan in the middle shelf of the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan. The water should rise half way up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheese cake for 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes. The cake should be slightly soft in the center. Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan and remove the aluminum foil. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Chill the cake for 1 hour and then remove the sides of the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Garnish with fudge sauce if desired. Slice and serve.
*Optional Fudge Sauce:
4 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (squares or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 Tablespoons butter
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated).
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Microwave chocolate and butter in microwave for 30 seconds, bring out stir again.
Return to microwave for another 30 seconds, bring out and stir again.
Add pinch of salt and sweetened condensed milk and mix well.
Add vanilla and mix well. If chocolate is not totally melted, return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Pour about ½ cup in the middle of cake and let the chocolate spread to edges. You may need to add a little more fudge topping to get it to spread to the edges better. If fudge topping spreads to far and goes over the edge, don’t worry, it still looks great running down the sides of cheesecake.
*I suggest freezing cake and bring out later to cut slices.