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Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

by Natures Garden | Other recipes by this author

Cheesecake is the favorite dessert of many kids and adults. From classic cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling to creative adaptations with cookie and candy crusts and liqueur swirls, the allure of cream cheese whipped with eggs and sugar endures. Chocolate and orange is a winning flavor combination, like you've just taken a bite of a fresh orange segment followed by a nibble of quality chocolate.


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  •  1/4 cup Southern Swiss Dairy butter, melted
  •  1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 8 oz packages of AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, optional
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  •  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  2 large JB Farms Free Range Eggs, room temperature
  •  1/2 cup orange juice
  •  1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  •  1 oz square semisweet chocolate, chilled
  •   Orange zest, optional

Prep Time: 15min    Cook Time: 328min    Level: Easy

Ingredients

Servings:
-
+
  • 1.00 cup Graham Cracker Crumb
  • 0.25 cup Butter - Unsalted
  • 16.00 oz Cream Cheese - Perfectly Plain
  • 1.00 cup Sour Cream - Crème Fraiche /
  • 0.50 cup White Granulated Sug
  • 0.50 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2.00 ea Eggs - Free Range
  • 0.50 cup Orange Juice - Pulp Free
  • 1.00 tbsp Oranges - Valencia
  • 1.00 oz Milk - Chocolate

Directions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center position. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

  2. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl until well combined. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan or 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

  3. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove top or in a microwave on a low wattage setting, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. When the chocolate is melted and creamy, set aside to cool.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar and vanilla and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Do not over mix. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed after each addition until eggs are integrated; do not over mix. 

  5. Add cooled chocolate to the mixture, along with the orange juice and orange zest. Mix well at low speed.

  6. If you are using a pie pan, carefully pour the batter into to pan and smooth the top with a table knife or rubber spatula. If using a springform pan, tightly wrap foil around the bottom of the pan to prevent water seepage during baking. Pour in the mixture and smooth the top. 

  7. For pie pan baking, place the pan on the center rack of the oven. If using a springform pan, place the pan into a larger metal pan with sides the same height as the springform pan. Carefully add hot water to the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. The water bath deters cracking and separation in the top of the cheesecake while it bakes.

  8. Bake for 40 minutes, until the center of the cheesecake is barely set. The cheesecake should jiggle a little when you move the pan. Do not over bake.

  9. Remove cheesecake from the oven. If using a springform pan, loosen the outer ring of the pan by releasing the side lock. Let the cheesecake cool completely before removing the rim. 

  10. Cover the cheesecake loosely with foil. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably, overnight.

  11. Right before serving, use a vegetable peeler to cut curls from the chilled block of chocolate. Arrange the curls in decorative pattern on the top of the cheesecake, cut into wedges, and serve.  You can also add strips of orange zest to decorate the top.

  12. Cheesecake is a treat any time of day. Enjoy it mid-morning with an espresso or Chai tea, something that will complement the citrus-chocolate flavor without competing with it. Cheesecake is always welcome as a hostess gift and adds an elegant touch to a potluck buffet table. If you bake it in a springform pan, it travels best when you leave the outer rim intact while traveling. 

  13. Tip: Bringing ingredients to room temperature isn't just an idea to make cooking and baking more complicated. When you're combining viscous components such as cream cheese and raw eggs, they fight each other when chilled. This not only makes mixing more difficult, it creates an uneven batter that detracts from the presentation and mouth-feel of the cheesecake. If you forget this step, simply remove the cream cheese from the wrapper and warm it in a microwave on the lowest setting for a few seconds until it loses its chill. Bring eggs to room temperature by putting them in a warm water bath for a few seconds.


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