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Need a stunning dessert to wow everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner, even your mother-in-law? This is the recipe for you. Everyone loves this cheesecake, even people who swear they hate cheesecake. It ‘s tastiness has an amazing effect on people. I once worked with a lady who didn’t really like me much, no matter how hard I tried to be nice to her. I made one of these cheesecakes and she began being nicer to me. Every time we hit a bump in our work relationship, I would make a cheesecake and we would be back to happy tolerance of each other. Is this manipulation? Yes it is. It is proof just how influential food is on people and how tasty this cheesecake is.

The Best Chocolate Cheesecake EVER!

The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

The Cake:

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature (No, the won’t spoil)
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

The Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pecans to decorate

In a bowl, combine the crust ingredients, mixing well. Press into 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

A couple of tips for a good cheesecake: 1) Don’t overwork it. Only mix as much as necessary, no more. 2) Use a water bath (a good video can be found here). 3) When you remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool, let it sit for 10 minutes. Then run a butter knife around the edge to break it free before the constriction for cooling creates a crack. Do you have any good tips to keep the top from cracking?

In a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, continuing to mix after each until just incorporated. Add in coffee and vanilla; mix well. Beat in cocoa powder until combined. With a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips gently. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until center is almost set. Remove from the oven; increase oven temperature to 425 degrees degrees. Combine the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm cheesecake. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run butter knife around the edges to break it loose. Cool for at least an hour before refrigerating. Decorate with pecan halves as desired. I usually ring the edge with pecans and create a star 5 point star in the middle. Slice in thin slices as this is a very rich cheesecake. Serves 16 to 20.