Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake

The world of cheesecake is a very new territory for me. I have never been a huge fan so naturally cheesecake is not something I make on a regular basis. Plus, I have always heard that cheesecakes are hard to master, not exactly your typical fool proof cookie. This cheesecake came about for two reasons: It was a friends birthday, she happens to love cheesecake, and we were having a halloween party. I figured I would combine the two and make a spooky birthday cheesecake for the celebrations! I did some research and called a cheesecake master from my hometown for some advice.


One of the main issues with cheesecake is cracking down the middle. This happens when the cheesecake is cooling. After some internet research I found there are a million “best ways” out there to eliminate the crack. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed so I gave Nancy, my expert, a call to sort out some of my questions. After my talk with her I felt a lot more confident as she definitely veered me in the right direction. We decided that I should do an Oreo crust and chocolate cheesecake with a caramel swirl in on top. Nancy said the crack isn’t the end of the world and adds a little character to the cheesecake. I agreed but still wanted to have a minimal crack.


I set off into the world of cheesecake making and knowing my first one wouldn’t be perfect by any means. I used the Newman O’s in place of Oreos and chopped them up in the food processor to make the crust. I didn’t need to use any butter but I melted 2 tablespoons and drizzled it over the crust for a bit of extra flavor. The crust was the easiest part. Moving on, I melted the chocolate and beat the cream cheese and then added all the ingredients. Then I sat back and hoped for the best. The cheesecake took longer than the one hour cook time the recipe called for. I kept checking to see if it was almost cooked but still jiggly in the middle. After about 1 hour and 20 mins it seemed ready for the heat to be turned off. In my attempt to minimize the crack I turned off the oven and left it open a bit. My theory was that it wouldn’t cool off as quickly and prevent it from cracking. Well I was very wrong. I went back to the oven an hour later it seemed as though the crack was the size of the Grand Canyon.


With my tunnel vision in full effect I spaced the caramel. To remedy the situation I decided it would be a nice topping for the cheesecake. At first it covered the crack well enough but when I checked the next morning all the caramel had soaked into the massive gorge ripping my cheesecake in half. At that point I decided that the crack added to the spooky Halloween theme. And to make this cheesecake a little extra spooky I used homemade chocolate tombstones on the top for a fun graveyard look. On one of my Michael’s shopping trips I found chocolate gravestone molds and couldn’t resist buying them.


Once the grave stones where put on and caramel was poured over the top the crack looked very fitting, almost like a grave being dug. The birthday girl loved the cheesecake and I was extremely excited that it came out delicious. It was a hit at the party!

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